4398.0 - Causes of Infant and Child Deaths, Australia, 1982 to 1996  
ARCHIVED ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 04/02/1998  Ceased
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Causes of death
Causes of death recorded on death certificates are those diseases, morbid conditions, or injuries which either resulted in or contributed to death. From the information provided on the death certificates an underlying cause of death (defined below) is coded according to the rules and guidelines of the ninth revision of the International Classification of Diseases (ICD-9) of the World Health Organisation (WHO). All causes of death discussed in this publication are underlying causes of death.

Child death rate
The child death rate refers to the number of deaths among children aged 1-4 years per 1,000 of the mid-year population of that age group. Child death rates for specific causes of death have been expressed per 100,000 of the mid-year population aged 1-4 years.

Congenital anomalies
Congenital anomalies (ICD-9 Chapter XIV) are malformations that are present at birth. Causation may be unknown but can include genetic and chromosomal abnormalities, infectious diseases, endocrine and nutritional disorders.

The following WHO definition, used to classify deaths, applies to the infant and child deaths in this publication. 'The permanent disappearance of all evidence of life at any time after live birth has taken place (postnatal cessation of vital functions without capability of resuscitation).' This definition of a 'death' therefore excludes still-births.

Estimated Resident Population
ERP is the official estimate of the Australian population prepared according to usual residence.

Extreme immaturity
Extreme immaturity (ICD-9 code 765.0) refers to gestational age of less than 28 completed weeks and usually implies a birth weight of less than 1,000 g. This code is a subset of the category 'disorders of short gestation and unspecified low birth weight'. Infants who are underweight for gestational age, including those with signs of fetal malnutrition, are not included in this category.

Geographic classification
Statistics on births and deaths and the mid-year population estimates used to calculate child death rates for States and Territories have been classified according to the State and Territory of usual residence and not according to the place of registration.

Indigenous birth
Indigenous birth refers to a delivery of a live born (see Live birth) infant where either parent has been identified on the registration form as of Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander origin. This information is provided by one or both parents when reporting a birth.

Indigenous death
Indigenous death refers to a death where the Indigenous status of the deceased has been reported on the death registration form as of Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander origin. This information may be provided by a relative or other informant familiar with the deceased. If a death occurs in an institution this information is supplied by an officer of the institution.

Infant mortality rate
The number of deaths of children under 1 year of age per 1,000 live births. The infant mortality rate for a specific sex has been expressed as per 100,000 live births of the relevant sex. The infant mortality rate for a specific cause of death has been expressed as per 100,000 live births.

Live birth
The birth of a child which showed a sign of life after delivery was complete. The full definition applied conforms with that adopted by the World Health Assembly in 1950 ( World Health Organisation, Manual of the International Statistical Classification of Diseases, Injuries, and Causes of Death, vol. 1, World Health Organisation, Geneva, 1977, p. 763.) 'A live birth is the complete expulsion or extraction from its mother of a product of conception, irrespective of the duration of the pregnancy, which after such separation, breathes or shows any other evidence of life, such as beating of the heart, pulsation of the umbilical cord, or definite movement of voluntary muscles, whether or not the umbilical cord has been cut or the placenta is attached; each product of such a birth is considered live born.'

Neonatal deaths
Neonatal deaths are deaths among live born children occurring within the first 28 days after birth. The number of days are calculated from the day of birth (day 0) and ending in 27 completed days.

Neonatal mortality rate
The number of neonatal deaths registered in a specified period per 1,000 live births registered in that period. When causes of neonatal death are discussed this rate has been expressed per 100,000 live births.

Perinatal conditions
Perinatal conditions (ICD-9 Chapter XV) are diseases and conditions that originated during pregnancy or the neonatal period (first 28 days of life), even though death or morbidity may occur later. These include maternal conditions that affect the newborn, such as complications of labour and delivery, disorders relating to birth weight and gestational age, and disorders specific to the perinatal period such as respiratory conditions, infections, haemolysis, endocrine and metabolic disorders, and disorders of temperature regulation.

Postneonatal deaths
Postneonatal deaths are deaths among live born children occurring during the period from 28 days of life up to and including 364 days of life.

Postneonatal mortality rate
The number of postneonatal deaths registered in a specified period per 1,000 live births registered in that period. When causes of postneonatal mortality are discussed this rate has been expressed per 100,000 live births.

Sudden Infant Death Syndrome
SIDS (ICD-9 code 798.0), also known as 'cot death', is the sudden death of an infant under one year of age for which no specific cause of death is found through medical history or post mortem.

Underlying cause of death
The underlying cause of death is the disease or injury which the doctor (or the coroner) reported on the death certificate as being the cause that initiated the train of events leading directly to death, or the circumstances of the accident, or violence which produced the fatal injury.