Confidential inquiry into perinatal mortality in the Lower Rio Grande Valley, 1988

Beryl Craig Vallejo, The University of Texas School of Public Health


A review of 1985 neonatal death statistics in the Lower Rio Grande Valley of Texas revealed an excessive perinatal death rate among Hispanics compared to Anglos. In order to identify factors contributing to perinatal mortality in the region and to determine if existing perinatal services were adequate, a confidential inquiry into each 1988 perinatal death was performed. Medical risk factors in the mothers were infrequent. The most commonly noted pregnancy complication was polyhydramnios. This complication is often associated with anencephalus which was the most frequent birth anomaly detected in the region. The study results did not reveal an association between lay midwife deliveries in the region and excessive perinatal mortality nor did perinatal mortality appear to be associated with a lack of neonatal intensive care facilities. Lack of prenatal care was the most commonly encountered preventable factor associated with perinatal death. It was not possible to determine if the level of care for Anglos and Hispanics differed because of the low number of Anglo deaths although the socioeconomic level of deaths in each of the ethnic groups was the same.

Subject Area

Public health

Recommended Citation

Vallejo, Beryl Craig, "Confidential inquiry into perinatal mortality in the Lower Rio Grande Valley, 1988" (1991). Texas Medical Center Dissertations (via ProQuest). AAI9130699.