Perinatal deaths (3-year average)

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Definitions: Perinatal deaths are measured as number of fetal deaths of 20 or more weeks’ gestation (later stages of pregnancy), and number of infants who died within seven days after birth.

Perinatal death numbers reported here are the average number of perinatal deaths in three consecutive calendar years (N=(sum of total perinatal deaths for 3 years)/3).

Rates represent the number of perinatal deaths per 1,000 live births. Perinatal death rates presented here are calculated by dividing the total number of perinatal deaths in three consecutive calendar years by the total number of live births reported in the same period, and multiplying by 1,000.

Data Source: The data used for this measure come from Center for Health Statistics, Washington State Department of Health (DOH), Infant Death Data. Data were downloaded on May 18, 2016 from http://www.doh.wa.gov/DataandStatisticalReports/VitalStatisticsData/InfantDeathData/InfantDeathTablesbyTopic.aspx (Infant Mortality Table F8).

The DOH combines information from the Washington State Birth and Death Certificate Systems to produce records of all infant deaths occurring in the state and nearly all infant deaths to residents of the state. Information about the birth is collected in hospitals and birth centers. Information about the death is collected by funeral directors from an informant (usually a family member).

S: Data estimate has been suppressed. Rates are not shown when the average number of perinatal deaths over the three consecutive years is fewer than 5.

Footnotes: Data last updated in May 2016 by Washington KIDS COUNT.

According to the Department of Heath, "These events are rare in annual terms. When the events are rare (small numbers) data may be affected by random fluctuations in the number of events between successive years. The effect of such random fluctuations on death rates is proportionately larger when the number of events is small. For example, one more infant death has a larger numerical impact on an area with 3 deaths than it does on an area with 300 deaths. Because of these random fluctuations, the rates based on small numbers may not be as reliable as those based on larger numbers in the sense that they may have limited predictive value.”

Department of Health technical notes on measurement issues are available at http://www.doh.wa.gov/Portals/1/Documents/5300/TechnicalNotes.pdf.

We combined three years of data to minimize unreliability of measurement due to small numbers. The values reported here refer to rolling averages across three years. For instance, we report the average value across the years 1992, 1993 and 1994.