Stillbirth Investigations - Pathologists Project

Project outline:

As the peak professional body responsible for training pathologists to provide perinatal autopsy services, The Royal College of Pathologists of Australasia (RCPA) has been contracted by the Australian Government to increase the profession’s capacity to undertake stillbirth investigations and promote a greater awareness amongst prenatal care professionals of the availability and access to stillbirth investigations and autopsies performed by specialised pathologists. Futureproofing the perinatal pathologist workforce capacity and capability to deliver these services is vital.

The RCPA will engage stakeholders to identify knowledge and service gaps to better understand the profession’s needs and what effort is required to help reduce stillbirth occurrences. With the development and implementation of a national training program, a best practice standard/guideline, decision support tools and practice support resources, the RCPA, as well as the Australian Government, state and territory governments, and other organisations will be better equipped to assist with the implementation of the National Stillbirth Action and Implementation Plan.

We acknowledge the support of the Australian Government Department of Health and Aged Care.

The Stillbirth Investigations – Pathologists Project published the Perinatal Education Training Package in April 2024 to assist with the implementation of the National Stillbirth Implementation Plan. To learn more about becoming a perinatal pathologist and the vital work performed by the professionals in this subspecialty, click here.

Redesign of the Victorian Perinatal Autopsy Service
RCPA - Apr 2024

Pathway. 22 April 2024

VIDEO: Australia's stillbirth rates effectively unchanged for 20 years
ABC News - Apr 2024
Each day, six babies are stillborn across the country with evidence showing many cases are preventable. Experts believe outdated attitudes, stigma and data are holding back progress.
'The cancer you didn't suspect': Medical test delays could be endangering patients
Henrietta Cook - Nov 2023
The Sydney Morning Herald. 12 November 2023 
What is a perinatal pathologist?
RCPA - Aug 2023
Pathway. 21 August 2023

The Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Radiologists (RANZCR) has developed a Perinatal Post-mortem Investigation Training Package to increase the radiology profession’s ability to conduct perinatal post-mortem investigations. The Training Package will contribute to reducing the rate of stillbirth in Australia; the contents may be of interest to anatomical pathologists and trainees, perinatal pathologists, and members of the Faculty of Post-mortem Imaging (FPMI). Click here to access this resource.

  • Keeling’s Fetal and Neonatal Pathology – Fifth Edition 2015 by T. Yee Khong and Roger D.G. Malcomson
  • Pathology of the Placenta: A Practical Guide 2018 by T. Yee Khong, Eoghan E. Mooney, Peter F.J. Nikkels, Terry K. Morgan, Sanne J. Gordijn
  • The Pediatric and Perinatal Autopsy Manual 2014 by Marta C. Cohen and Irene Scheimberg
  • Twining’s Textbook of Fetal Abnormalities 2014 by Anne Marie Coady and Sarah Bower

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