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Revista de Saúde Pública

On-line version ISSN 1518-8787Print version ISSN 0034-8910


LANSKY, Sônia; FRANCA, Elizabeth  and  LEAL, Maria do Carmo. Perinatal mortality and evitability: a review. Rev. Saúde Pública [online]. 2002, vol.36, n.6, pp.759-772. ISSN 1518-8787.

This is a literature review onperinatal mortality focusing its evitability. A Medline and Lilacs (Latin-America and Caribbean) search was conducted for the 90s. There are few research studies on this subject in Brazil due to the great number of underreported fetal deaths and the low quality information provided in death certificates. Different proposals for perinatal death classification are presented. Most are based on grouping the underlying causes of deaths in a functional system in order to facilitate the analysis. In the Wigglesworth classification system, one of the most recommended methods, deaths are related to the different stages of care for pregnant women and children, evidencing the possibilities of their prevention. The evitability approach of perinatal deaths in Brazil is highly recommended, as mortality rates are still very high and most of the deaths are considered avoidable. Premature deaths could be avoided improving the quality of health care. Besides improving the medical assistance, the organization of health care regarding pre-natal, birth and neonatal care must also be better developed to ensure access to qualified assistance.

Keywords : Perinatal mortality (public health); Prenatal care [organization and administration]; Perinatal care [organization and administration]; Maternal health services [organization and administration]; Child health services [organization and administration]; Evitability.

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