3304.0 - Perinatal Deaths, Australia, 2008 Quality Declaration 
Previous ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 15/04/2010   
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1 Up to and including deaths registered in 2006, ABS perinatal death processing was finalised at a point in time. At this point not all deaths registered in the reference year which were referred to the coroner, had been investigated, the case closed and relevant information loaded to the National Coroners Information System (NCIS). The coronial process can take several years if an inquest is being held or complex investigations are being undertaken. In these instances, the cases remain open on the NCIS. For these cases, the specificity of the ICD-10 code which is applied by the ABS is impacted by:

  • general increases in the length of coronial investigations;
  • increases in the workload of coroners; and
  • lags in the timeliness of input of coronial findings to the NCIS.

2 To address these data quality issues, all coroner certified deaths registered after 1 January 2007 are now subject to a revisions process. The revisions process enables the use of additional information relating to coroner certified deaths either 12 or 24 months after initial processing. This increases the specificity of the assigned ICD-10 codes over time. As 12 or 24 months of time has passed since initial processing, further information may have become available to the ABS about the causes of these deaths.

3 ABS will undertake two rounds of revisions only for each year's data. It is anticipated that the quality of the data will be higher after two revision processes. In each round of revisions, those cases which were open at the time of publication the year before will be reassessed by ABS coders to take into account any new information available on the NCIS. This will affect both cases which have been subsequently closed, and those which remain open. See Technical Note 2: Causes of Death - Revisions Process in Causes of Death, Australia, 2008 (cat. no. 3303.0) for details of the ABS commitment to the revisions process.


4 2007 (revised) data which has been subjected to the revisions process have been published in this release. After a second application of the revisions process, 2007 (final) data will be released in the 2009 (preliminary) publication.

5 During the 2007 revisions period eight (8) coroner certified records were recoded to a more specific underlying cause of death. These records changed primarily from Other ill-defined and unspecified causes of mortality (R99) to more specific codes within Certain conditions originating in the perinatal period (P00-P96).

6 There remained 35 coroner certified cases for 2007 with a case status of 'open' or 'other' after the application of the revisions process. These remaining cases will be subject to a second round of revisions as part of the 2009 perinatal deaths processing. Additionally, there were 63 coroner certified cases for 2008 with a case status of 'open' or 'other' which will be subject to a first round of revisions during 2009 processing.

7 Further information on the revisions process as it relates to the causes of death collection can be found in Technical Note 2: Causes of Death - Revisions Process and Technical Note 3: 2007 Revisions in Causes of Death, Australia, 2008 (cat. no. 3303.0).