Fetal Death Certifications
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Fetal death means death prior to the complete expulsion or extraction of a product of human conception if the 20th week of gestation has been reached and the death is indicated by the fact that after such expulsion or extraction the fetus does not breathe or show any other evidence of life such as beating of the heart, pulsation of the umbilical cord, or definite movement of voluntary muscles (s. 382.002 (7), F.S.).
If the exact period of gestation is unknown, the physician
uses his/her best estimation, which may be based upon fetus weight in grams, length of fetus, or other factors. Specifically, the period of gestation for fetal deaths includes only that period or estimated period, during which the fetus is alive in utero and does not include the
time between death of the fetus and later expulsion or delivery.
NOTE: If the newborn, regardless of gestational age, breathes or shows other evidence of life (per the physician) after complete expulsion or extraction, even though it is only momentary, the delivery must be registered as a live birth, a birth certificate must be
prepared, and the subsequent preparation of a death certificate is required.