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Louisiana Department of Health & Hospitals | Kathy Kliebert, Secretary

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Statewide Initiatives



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Spontaneous Fetal Death Data

A fetal death is the death of a human fetus that occurs prior to its expulsion or extraction from its mother, irrespective of the duration of pregnancy. In Louisiana, a spontaneous fetal death (also referred to as stillbirth) is a fetal death that meets these criteria:

  1. The fetus survived at least 20 weeks gestation or weighed at least 350 grams, and
  2. The death was not the result of an induced termination of pregnancy.

A high rate of fetal deaths reflects unfavorable environmental influences and/or the unavailability of medical care. Compared with infant mortality, however, the factors contributing to fetal deaths have been studied less, therefore limiting the understanding of their etiology.

Fetal death surveillance is important in the evaluation of adverse reproductive outcomes and in the identification of factors that result in such deaths. The goals of fetal death surveillance are the identification of high-risk populations and the development of risk-reducing interventions.

Spontaneous fetal death information is gathered from data recorded on the Certificate of Fetal Death for spontaneous fetal deaths that occur among pregnant Louisiana residents. Fetal deaths of at least 20 weeks gestation or 350 grams should be reported to the Vital Records Registry within 5 days of delivery, or as otherwise directed by the State Registrar. A physician or coroner, in consultation with the parent(s), completes information on the fetal death certificate.

Death statistics are compiled in accordance with World Health Organization (WHO) regulations, which require member nations to classify causes of death according to the current revision of the International Classification of Disease, Injuries, and Causes of Death (ICD). Fetal deaths are coded in accordance with the tenth revision (ICD-10).

Current 5-Year Fetal Death Trends

This section illustrates the five year trends of Fetal Death in Louisiana with charts and tables.

5-Year Fetal Death Charts, 2006-2010

Fetal Deaths Occurring in Louisiana, 2006-2010

Year

Number

2006

435

2007

401

2008

424

2009

367

2010*

211

Fetal Deaths Occurring to Louisiana Residents, 2006-2010

Year

Number

2006

424

2007

399

2008

416

2009

362

2010*

210

*Indicates Preliminary Data

5-Year Fetal Death Tables, By Parish, 2006-2010