The Consultative Council on Obstetric and Paediatric Mortality and Morbidity (CCOPMM) gathers data on all maternal deaths, perinatal deaths (stillbirths and newborns) from 20 weeks gestation or 400 grams birth weight, and all infant and child deaths that occur before an individual’s 18th birthday.
Health services are obliged, under the Public Health and Wellbeing Act 2008, to provide details of all births and maternal, perinatal, child and adolescent deaths to CCOPMM within 28 days to ensure timely data collection and enable adequate review and reporting.
The confidentiality of information provided to CCOPMM is protected under this legislation.
Data collection is managed by the Department of Health & Human Services. CCOPMM creates a case file on each mortality case when a death certificate is received from the Registry of Births, Deaths and Marriages.
The council may seek information from a variety of sources, including:
- hospital case records
- individual doctors and midwives
- pathology departments
- the State Coronial Services
- Paediatric Infant Perinatal Emergency Retrieval (PIPER).
All health services providing maternity services should have an arrangement to regularly review perinatal deaths that conforms with the Perinatal Society of Australia and New Zealand’s Clinical practice guideline for perinatal mortality (2nd edition, Version 2.2, April 2009). Information from reviews of perinatal deaths should be submitted to CCOPMM.
CCOPMM reviews all the information provided from the above sources, and any complex or contentious mortality cases are forwarded to the council’s specialist subcommittees for further review. The subcommittees will consider avoidable or contributing factors, classify the deaths, and develop recommendations on clinical and system improvements for broad dissemination.
Each year, CCOPMM produces an annual report, Victoria’s mothers and babies: Victoria’s maternal, perinatal, child and adolescent mortality.
The report provides detailed statistics on Victoria’s obstetric and paediatric deaths, as well as clinical recommendations for health services and practitioners on improving care and outcomes for mothers, babies, children and adolescents.
The CCOPMM is committed to ensuring that the annual report is a useful tool for obstetricians, paediatricians, midwives and researchers in monitoring the care and outcomes for mothers and their babies along with infants, children and adolescents.