Perinatal audit: an overview

  • M. J. N. C. Keirse


Although perinatal audit is a relatively new term, its history dates back far beyond that of the discipline of perinatology. From 1720 to 1750 England was swept by a gin epidemic as the government lifted the traditional restrictions on distilling in order to create new markets for grain. In 1726 the College of Physicians petitioned parliament calling gin ‘a cause of weak, feeble and distempered children’, and in 1736 a committee of the Middlesex sessions reported that‘… children are born weak and sickly, and often look shrivel’d and old as though they had numbered many years’1. Applying the definition ‘an official examination of accounts’ listed in the Oxford dictionary2, this must be a classical example of audit related to perinatology. Few examinations are more official than those of a parliamentary committee; the available accounts were certainly scrutinized; and supposedly the aim was some positive action for the improvement of perinatal health.


Perinatal Mortality Perinatal Health Fetal Growth Retardation Oxford Dictionary Parliamentary Committee 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. 1.
    Warner, R. H. and Rosett, H. L. (1975). The effect of drinking on offspring: an historical survey of the American and British literature. J. Studies Alcohol., 36, 1395–420Google Scholar
  2. 2.
    Sykes, J. B. (ed.) (1978). The Concise Oxford Dictionary of Current English, 6th edn, p. 61. ( Oxford: Oxford University Press )Google Scholar
  3. 3.
    Clifford, S. H. (1954). Postmaturity with placental dysfunction: clinical syndrome and pathologic findings. J. Pediatr., 44, 1–13PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. 4.
    Cone, T. E. (1961). De pondere infanturn recens natorum. The history of weighing the newborn infant. Pediatrics, 28, 490–8PubMedGoogle Scholar
  5. 5.
    Lemoine, P., Haronsseau, H., Borteyru, J. P. and Menuet, J. C. (1968). Lesenfants de parents alcooliques; anomalies observées à propos de 127 cas. Quest Med, 25, 476–82Google Scholar
  6. 6.
    WHO (1977). Recommended definitions, terminology and format for statistical tables related to the perinatal period and use of a new certificate for cause of perinatal deaths. Acta Obstet. Gynecol. Scand., 56, 247–53Google Scholar
  7. 7.
    FIGO news (1976). Lists of gynaecologic and obstetrical terms and definitions. Int. J. Gynaecol. Obstet., 14, 570–6Google Scholar
  8. 8.
    Robinson, D. and Shettles, L. B. (1952). The use of diethylstilbestrol in threatened abortion. Am. J. Obstet. Gynecol., 63, 1330–3PubMedGoogle Scholar
  9. 9.
    Dieckmann, W. J., Davis, M. E., Rynkiewicz, L. M. and Pottinger, R. E. (1953). Does the administration of diethylstilbestrol during pregnancy have therapeutic value? Am. J. Obstet. Gynecol., 66, 1062–81PubMedGoogle Scholar
  10. 10.
    Ferguson, J. H. (1953). Effect of stilbestrol on pregnancy compared to the effect of a placebo. Am. J. Obstet. Gynecol., 65, 592–601PubMedGoogle Scholar
  11. 11.
    Herbst, A.L., Poskanzer, D.C., Robboy, S.J., Friedlander, L, and Scully, R.E (1975). Prenatal exposure to stilbestrol: a prospective comparison of exposed female offspring with unexposed controls. N. Engl. J. Med., 292, 334–9PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. 12.
    Brackbill, Y. and Berendes. H. W. (1978). Dangers of diethylstilbestrol: review of 1953 paper. Lancet, 2, 520PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. 13.
    Chalmer I. G. (1980). An introduction to perinatal audit and surveillance. In Chalmers, I. and McIlwaine, G. (eds.) Perinatal Audit and Surveillance, pp. 7–16. ( London: Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists )Google Scholar
  14. 14.
    Lee, K., Paneth, N., Garter, L M. and Pearlman. M. (1980). The very low birthweight rate: principal predictor of neonatal mortality in industrialized population. J. Pediatr., 97, 759–64PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. 15.
    Chalmers I. and Macfarlane,A. (1980). Interpretation of perinatal statistics. In Wharton, B. (ed.) Topics in Perinatal Medicine, pp. 1–11(London: Pitman Medical)Google Scholar
  16. 16.
    Wigglesworth. J. S. (1980). Monitoring perinatal mortality. A pathophysiological approach. Lancet,2, 2684–6Google Scholar
  17. 17.
    Bakketeig.LS., Hoffman, H. and Sternthal, P.M.(1978).Obstetric service and perinatal mortality in norway. Acta Obstet. Gynecol. Scand., Suppl., 77, 3–19CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. 18.
    Keirse. M. J. N. C. (1981). Aetiology of intrauterine growth retardation. In Van Assche F. A. and Robertson. W. B. (eds.) Fetal Growth Retardation, pp. 37–56. (Edinburgh:Churchill Livingstone)Google Scholar
  19. 19.
    Keirse, M.J.N.C. (1984). Epidimiology and aetiology of the growth retarded baby. Clin. Obstet. Gynaecol., 11, 415–35PubMedGoogle Scholar
  20. 20.
    Wilcox. A. J. (1981). Birth weight, gestation, and the fetal growth curve. Am. J Obstet. Gynecol., 139, 863–7PubMedGoogle Scholar
  21. 21.
    British Births (1970). vol. l The First week of life, p. 80. ( London: William Heinemann )Google Scholar

Copyright information

© MTP Press Limited 1985

Authors and Affiliations

  • M. J. N. C. Keirse

There are no affiliations available

Personalised recommendations