NSW Perinatal Data Collection (SAPHaRI). Centre for Epidemiology and Evidence, NSW Ministry of Health.
Perinatal deaths include stillbirths and deaths within 28 days of birth (neonatal deaths). Data include deaths reported to the PDC only, deaths occurring after discharge or transfer of the baby may not be reported to the PDC.
Data include all births in NSW regardless of mother’s place of residence.
The NSW Perinatal Data Collection (PDC), formerly the NSW Midwives Data Collection (MDC), is a population-based surveillance system covering all births in NSW public and private hospitals, as well as homebirths. The PDC is a statutory data collection under the NSW Public Health Act 2010.
The PDC encompasses all live births, and stillbirths of at least 20 weeks gestation or at least 400 grams birth weight. Prior to 2006 the PDC encompassed all births of at least 20 weeks gestation or at least 400 grams birth weight. The data collection has operated since 1987 but with population coverage since 1990.
For every birth in NSW the attending midwife or medical practitioner completes a notification form (latest version for 2011: http://internal.health.nsw.gov.au/data/collections/mdc/NSWH%20Perinatal%20Data.pdf), or its electronic equivalent, giving demographic, medical and obstetric information on the mother and the condition of the infant. The PDC form was revised in 1998, 2006, 2011, and 2016.
There are several source systems that generate the PDC data. In 2016, 100% of PDC notifications were received electronically from public and private hospitals obstetric information systems. Electronically submitted records were received by secure upload to the state database. Historically, a proportion of records were received via completed paper forms that were submitted to the System Information and Analytics Branch of the NSW Ministry of Health, where they were compiled into the PDC database.
There are several electronic systems that generate the PDC data including ObstetriX, eMaternity, and Cerner in public hospitals and a variety of systems in private hospitals. ObstetriX is the most commonly used maternity information system in public hospitals in NSW.
Table 1. Perinatal Data Collection Notification Sources, NSW 2016
|Notification source||Local Health District or Hospital||
Per cent of PDC records 2016
All public hospitals in Northern Sydney, Central Coast, South Eastern Sydney, Illawarra Shoalhaven, Hunter New England, Nepean Blue Mountains and Western Sydney Local Health Districts. Some hospitals in Mid North Coast, Northern NSW, Murrumbidgee, Southern NSW, Western NSW and Far West Local Health Districts.
|Cerner||Sydney and South Western Sydney Local Health Districts.||18.5|
|Meditech||Ramsay Private Hospitals - North Shore Private Hospital, Westmead Private Hospital, St George Private Hospital, Kareena Private Hospital and Wollongong Private Hospital.||8.2|
|Sydney Adventist Obstetric Information System||Sydney Adventist Hospital||2.0|
|Healthscope||Healthscope hospitals - Prince of Wales Private Hospital, Norwest Private Hospital, Sydney South West Private Hospital, Nepean Private Hospital and Newcastle Private Hospital||8.3|
|The Mater Hospital database||The Mater Hospital, North Sudney||2.4|
|eMaternity||Mid North Coast, Northern NSW, Northern Sydney and Central Coast transitioned to eMaternity during 2016.||0.8|
The information sent to the NSW Ministry of Health is checked and compiled into one statewide dataset. One record is reported for each baby, even in the case of a multiple birth. The PDC includes notifications of births which occur in NSW which includes women whose usual place of residence is outside NSW and who give birth in NSW; it does not receive notifications of interstate births where the mother is resident in NSW. The collection is based on the date of birth of the baby. In 2016 there was an unusually large number of records with missing information that has resulted in a fluctuation in trends for analyses of subgroups.
Data are reported by calendar year. For this report, the PDC was accessed via SAPHaRI.
The current data collection form for the NSW Perinatal Data Collection (PDC) commenced in 2016. Codes are described in the NSW Perinatal Data Collection Manual - 2016 Edition, which is available on the internet at http://www1.health.nsw.gov.au/pds/ActivePDSDocuments/PD2015_025.pdf
In 2016 there were 98,727 births to 97,306 mothers in NSW, a decrease of 0.8% from 99,510 births in 2012. The percentage of multiple (twin and triplet) pregnancies has remained fairly stable over recent years at about 1.4%.
Between 2012 and 2016:
• The proportion of mothers who were teenagers continued to fall, from 3.2% in 2012 to 2.2% in 2016.
• The proportion of births to mothers over 35 years of age has remained stable.
• The proportion of mothers who smoked at all during pregnancy fell from 10.4% in 2012 to 8.3% in 2016.
• The proportion of babies with low birth weight remained stable over the period, ranging from 6.1% to 6.6%.
• The proportion of preterm births was 7.3% of all births in 2016, a decrease from 7.6% in 2012.
• The perinatal mortality rate was 7.5 per 1,000 births in 2016, decreasing from 8.3 per 1,000 births in 2012.
• In 2016, there were 260 infant deaths in NSW, which was 2.7 deaths per 1,000 live births. The infant mortality rate in Australia was 3.1 deaths per 1,000 live births in 2016.
• Between 2012 and 2016, the number of reported births to Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander mothers increased from 3,399 to 4,174, representing 3.4% and 4.2% respectively of all babies born in NSW.
•Between 2012 and 2016, the percentage of Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander mothers who were teenagers fell substantially from 18.6% in 2012 to 12.8% in 2016.
•Between 2012 and 2016, the percentage of Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander mothers who commenced antenatal care before 14 weeks of pregnancy increased from 51.0% to 64.6%.
• The proportion of Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander mothers smoking in pregnancy was 41.3% in 2016 compared with 49.9% in 2012.
• The perinatal mortality rate among babies born to Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander mothers was 12.2 per 1,000 in 2016, higher than the rate of 7.3 per 1,000 for babies born to non-Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander mothers.
The health of Australian mothers and babies is generally good by world standards. Maternal deaths are rare, and perinatal mortality rates are low.
The average woman in NSW can currently expect to give birth to 1.9 babies in her lifetime.
NSW mothers are getting older with the mean maternal age at first birth around 29 years and at subsequent birth just over 30. The proportion of teenage mothers is declining.
Aboriginal mothers and babies, those from socioeconomically disadvantaged areas, and some overseas-born mothers and their babies continue to experience worse outcomes than other NSW mothers and babies.
The NSW Ministry of Health maintains two population-based surveillance systems that collect information concerning pregnancy and birth: the NSW Perinatal Data Collection and the NSW Register of Congenital Conditions. They assist in monitoring the health of mothers and babies and, maternity service planning in NSW.
The implementation of the NSW Aboriginal Maternal and Infant Health Strategy has improved access to culturally appropriate maternity services for Aboriginal mothers.
The NSW Maternal and Perinatal Mortality Review Committee reviews each death of a mother or newborn baby to assess the cause and identify any possible avoidable factors. This information is used to improve services for mothers and babies.
NSW Ministry of Health at http://health.nsw.gov.au, in particular see the annual New South Wales Mothers and Babies report, published by the Centre for Epidemiology and Evidence. The latest edition is available at http://www.health.nsw.gov.au/hsnsw/Publications/mothers-and-babies-2016.pdf
Australian Bureau of Statistics at http://www.abs.gov.au, in particular see Births (ABS Cat no 3301.0)
Australian Institute of Health and Welfare at http://www.aihw.gov.au in general and in particular the AIHW's National Perinatal Statistics Unit and the annual publication: Australia’s mothers and babies.
healthdirect at http://www.healthdirect.gov.au
Population and Public Health Division. Improved reporting of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples on population datasets in New South Wales using record linkage–a feasibility study. Sydney: NSW Ministry of Health, 2012. Available at: http://www.health.nsw.gov.au/hsnsw/Publications/atsi-data-linkage-report.pdf
Australian Council on Healthcare Standards. Obstetrics Indicator User Manual 2013. Obstetrics version 7.2. Sydney: ACHS, 2013. Available at: https://www.ranzcog.edu.au/component/docman/doc_view/267-obstetric-indicators.html?Itemid=946">
• In 2016, there were 53,694 deaths of residents in NSW. The number of deaths has increased by around 17% in the 11 years since 2006. However the death rate has decreased by around 11% over this period due to an increasing population
• The age standardised death rate was 590.0 per 100,000 in NSW in 2016.
• In 2016 the age-adjusted male death rate was around 41% higher than the female death rate (660.0 compared with 520.0 per 100,000 respectively). This difference has declined from almost 49% over the last 11 years since 2006.
• In 2016, there were 260 infant deaths in NSW, which was 3.2 deaths per 1,000 live births. The infant mortality rate in Australia was 3.1 deaths per 1,000 live births in 2016.
Death or mortality statistics are published at regular intervals in most countries and usually show numbers and rates of deaths by sex, age and other variables. A death rate is an estimate of the proportion of the population that dies during a specified period (Last 2001). In this report it is expressed as the number of deaths per 100,000 population (person-years).
The proportion of people in different age groups varies between geographic areas and over time and can therefore influence death rate comparisons within these dimensions. Age-adjustment (also known as age-standardisation) allows for the comparison of death rates across geographic areas and over time after removing the effects of the different age structures in these dimensions.
Refer to the Methods tab for more information.
Death rates from all causes are low in Australia and NSW by international standards. The World Health Organization classifies Australia into an ‘A stratum’, with very low child and adult mortality. Comparisons by country reveal that the probability of dying between 15 and 60 years per 1,000 population (WHO calculated adult mortality rate) spans from the low 50s in selected developed countries to 600-700 in some African counties. Australia’s rate was 61 per 1,000 in 2008, which placed it in fifth (WHO 2010).
World Health Organization. World health statistics. Geneva: WHO. Available at: http://www.who.int/whosis/whostat/en/index.html
Interventions aiming to reduce deaths rates in NSW are embedded in strategies dealing with specific health issues or specific disadvantaged populations.