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National Perinatal Pathology Service

Public Service, Pathology

Today

8:00 AM to 5:00 PM.

Description

The National Perinatal Pathology Service provides non-coronial post-mortems, including internal, external and placenta examination in the following situations:

  • stillbirths and terminations of pregnancy from approximately 14 weeks gestation to term for fetal abnormality, high-risk pregnancy, terminations and intrauterine deaths
  • neonatal deaths (up to 28 days).

The National Perinatal Pathology Service is whānau-centred. You have the right to be asked if you would like a post-mortem examination, and a non-coronial post-mortem examination cannot happen without your consent.

A non-coronial perinatal post-mortem examination can be an important step in understanding why your baby or babies have died. It can be a daunting and sometimes confronting procedure to consider.

Understanding the post-mortem examination, the different types of examinations available, and the benefits may help to overcome any concerns you have and help you decide if a post-mortem is likely to be helpful in understanding the cause of the death and if it is right for your whānau.

A New Zealand study reported on interviews with 169 mothers who gave birth to a stillborn baby after 28 weeks of pregnancy. Ten percent (7 of 70) mothers who declined a post-mortem said they would not make this decision again. No mother (0 of 99) who agreed to a post-mortem regretted her decision.

Cronin R, Li M, Wise M, et al. 2018. Late stillbirth post mortem examination in New Zealand: maternal decision-making. Aust NZ J Obstet Gyn 58(6): 667–73.

The National Perinatal Pathology Service does not coordinate coronial post-mortems, this is the responsibility of Coronial Services, which is part of the Ministry of Justice. You can find out more information about the coronial service and how to contact the service on the website Coronial Services of New Zealand.

Fees and Charges Description

New Zealand citizens or permanent residents are entitled to publicly funded healthcare. Non-residents may be required to pay for their healthcare.

Hours

8:00 AM to 5:00 PM.

Mon – Fri 8:00 AM – 5:00 PM

Perinatal pathology services are primarily provided during normal business hours, Monday to Friday.

Information

Perinatal Pathology Centres

The Service is provided by Te Whatu Ora Te Toka Tumai Auckland and Te Whatu Ora Waitaha Canterbury, with perinatal pathologists based in Auckland, Wellington and Christchurch. The Service is primarily provided during normal business hours unless circumstances warrant more urgent access. The post-mortem examination will take place in a mortuary. Each mortuary has a Whānau room where you can wait until the post-mortem is complete if you wish. You can also choose to transport your baby to the mortuary where the post-mortem examination will take place and your maternity care team will help to coordinate this. Auckland Your baby will go to the Auckland City Hospital mortuary, Labplus, Building 31, Gate 4, Grafton Road. The Whānau room is on the ground floor at the front of the LabPlus building and can be accessed from outside the building. There may be other whānau waiting in the whānau room with you, and it is not designed for sleeping. Limited parking is available on the courtyard directly outside the Whānau Room, or there is the Wilson Carpark B, close to the LabPlus building (charges apply). If whānau wish to use the whānau room, this is to be booked by calling Auckland Bereavement Services (09) 948 4210. Wellington Your baby will go to the Wellington Hospital mortuary, which is behind the Emergency Department building of Wellington Hospital. If you are transporting your baby to the mortuary, you can go to the Orderly Station near the entrance to ED. An orderly can escort you to the Ngaio/Rata Room where mortuary staff will meet you, and you can wait. There is paid parking available either in the main car park under the hospital, via the Riddiford Street entrance, or off Mein street (park between the green lines only). If whānau wish to use the whānau room, this is to be booked by calling the Wellington Hospital Mortuary on 04 385 5961. Please note these rooms are not designed for sleeping. Christchurch Your baby will go to the Christchurch Hospital mortuary, on Riccarton Avenue in Christchurch. There is limited on-street or paid car parking near Christchurch Hospital. If whānau wish to use the whānau room, this is to be booked by calling the Christchurch Hospital Mortuary on 033640674 (between 8am and 3pm). Dunedin There is no resident perinatal pathlogist in Dunedin, however a perinatal post-mortem may still take place at the Dunedin hospital. Your baby will go to the Dunedin Hospital mortuary, on Cumberland Street in Dunedin. Metered parking is available in surrounding streets within walking distance. These range from 30 minutes to all day parking limits. Someone from the mortuary can meet you in the Queen Mary Maternity whānau room if that suits whānau. There is a whānau room in the mortuary for family to use if they choose to wait.

The Service is provided by Te Whatu Ora Te Toka Tumai Auckland and Te Whatu Ora Waitaha Canterbury, with perinatal pathologists based in Auckland, Wellington and Christchurch. The Service is primarily provided during normal business hours unless circumstances warrant more urgent access. 

The post-mortem examination will take place in a mortuary. Each mortuary has a Whānau room where you can wait until the post-mortem is complete if you wish. You can also choose to transport your baby to the mortuary where the post-mortem examination will take place and your maternity care team will help to coordinate this. 

Auckland
Your baby will go to the Auckland City Hospital mortuary, Labplus, Building 31, Gate 4, Grafton Road. The Whānau room is on the ground floor at the front of the LabPlus building and can be accessed from outside the building. There may be other whānau waiting in the whānau room with you, and it is not designed for sleeping. Limited parking is available on the courtyard directly outside the Whānau Room, or there is the Wilson Carpark B, close to the LabPlus building (charges apply). If whānau wish to use the whānau room, this is to be booked by calling Auckland Bereavement Services (09) 948 4210.

Wellington

Your baby will go to the Wellington Hospital mortuary, which is behind the Emergency Department building of Wellington Hospital. If you are transporting your baby to the mortuary, you can go to the Orderly Station near the entrance to ED. An orderly can escort you to the Ngaio/Rata Room where mortuary staff will meet you, and you can wait. There is paid parking available either in the main car park under the hospital, via the Riddiford Street entrance, or off Mein street (park between the green lines only). If whānau wish to use the whānau room, this is to be booked by calling the Wellington Hospital Mortuary on 04 385 5961. Please note these rooms are not designed for sleeping.