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The Underregistration of Neonatal Deaths: Georgia 1974-77

Quality of the system and assessment

Abstract: We reviewed the neonatal outcome of 3,369 infants who weighed less than or equal to 1500 grams and who were born in Georgia during the years 1974-1976. We matched 1,465 of these infants with a death certificate registered in the State's Vital Records. Upon review of the hospital records of the remaining infants, we identified 453 infants that died during the neonatal period without a death certificate being registered.

Subsequently, we compared the hospital death registries for 1977 in Georgia and death certificates registered in Vital Records during 1977. We identified an additional 236 infants who died without a death certificate being registered. Forty per cent of these infants weighed greater than 1500 grams.

Two major procedural errors regarding the filing of death certificates in Georgia at the local level contributed to this 21 per cent underregistration of neonatal deaths in 1974-1977. The underregistration occurred disproportionately for rural areas...
The article was by Mccarthy BJ, Terry J, Rochat RW, Quave S, and Tyler CW, Am J Public Health 1980; 70:977-982.


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