Key messages

  • The Victorian Perinatal Data Collection (VPCD) collects information on congenital anomalies. 
  • Notification may be through the VPDC or through hospital patient listings, maternal and child health nurses, death certificates and autopsy reports, or paediatricians.
  • Allied health professionals reporting a congenital anomaly should complete a congenital anomalies notification form, which can be submitted online.
The reports Congenital Anomalies in Victoria 2007-2009 and Congenital Anomalies in Victoria 2013-2014 by the Consultative Council on Obstetric and Paediatric Mortality and Morbidity (CCOPMM) highlights the rates of major congenital anomalies in Victoria, risk factors for its development and its trends over time.

Selected congenital anomalies that are either lethal, have significant consequences for surviving children and their families, or are relatively common, are reported in detail.

The Victorian Congenital Anomalies Register (VCAR) collects information on all congenital anomalies for live births, stillbirths and terminations of pregnancy, as part of the reporting requirements of the Victorian Perinatal Data Collection (VPDC).

A congenital anomaly, more commonly called a ‘birth defect’, is an anomaly in body structure or chemistry that is present at birth. 

Congenital anomalies can range from very minor to very severe conditions.

Although most congenital anomalies are detected during pregnancy, at birth or in early infancy, some anomalies may not be recognised until long after birth. 

Congenital anomalies contribute significantly to perinatal and childhood mortality and morbidity and can result in paediatric hospital admissions. All congenital anomalies must be notified to the VCAR.

Notification of congenital anomalies

The VCAR relies on the notification of congenital anomalies through the VPDC for approximately 50 per cent of all notifications.

The other 50 per cent are notified by a variety of sources:

  • hospital inpatient and outpatient listings
  • maternal and child health nurses
  • cytogenic laboratories
  • death certificates and autopsy reports
  • private paediatricians.

Allied health professionals who wish to report a congenital anomaly should complete a congenital anomalies notification online.

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