S. Lakshmi1, Menon Nalini Sekharan2, R. Aravind3

OBJECTIVE: To evaluate the various causes of perinatal deaths and adopt strategies to improve perinatal outcome at a referral teaching hospital in North Kerala.

METHODS: A prospective observational study conducted at Institute of Maternal and Child Health, Government Medical College, Kozhikode. All perinatal deaths during the period January 2013 to December 2014 were analysed and from this factors responsible for perinatal deaths were identified.

RESULTS: Out of total 30,042 deliveries, there were 966 perinatal deaths during the study period. 566 were still births and 400 early neonatal deaths. The perinatal mortality rate was 31.1 per 1000 live births. Perinatal asphyxia was the major cause of perinatal mortality. The important factors contributing to perinatal asphyxia were prematurity (39%), abruptio placenta (19%) and MSAF (12%). Among the antenatal factors, hypertensive disorders of pregnancy leading to iatrogenic elective preterm delivery were the most important.

CONCLUSION: Perinatal asphyxia due to prematurity and low birth weight emerged as the most important cause of perinatal mortality in this study and hypertensive disorders of pregnancy were the most important antenatal complication leading to prematurity.