Victorian Perinatal Autopsy Service

VPAS Pathologist Dr Jackie Collett and Co-ordinator Nicole vander Linden

The Victorian Perinatal Autopsy Service (VPAS) provides a co-ordinated state-wide service ensuring consistent standards of practice and expertise for the clinical investigation of perinatal deaths across Victoria.

The three Victorian tertiary maternity hospitals providing these services are the Royal Women’s Hospital (the Women’s), Monash Health and Mercy Hospital for Women, and their associated pathology departments, The Royal Children’s Hospital Pathology, Monash Pathology and Austin Pathology.

The service is available to public as well as private patients and there is no charge for autopsies on deceased infants where there is a registered perinatal death. A registered perinatal death is the stillbirth of a baby over 20 weeks gestation; or if the gestation is unknown, weighs 400g or more; and the neonatal death of an infant who shows signs of life at birth regardless of gestation. All registered perinatal deaths require a Medical Certificate of Cause of Perinatal Death to be completed.

VPAS autopsies are performed by perinatal pathologists who are doctors trained specifically in perinatal autopsy. They follow post-mortem examination processes and procedures as outlined in the VPAS guidelines, based on the 2018 Clinical Practice Guidelines for Perinatal Mortality by the Perinatal Society of Australia and New Zealand.


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