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Importance of Stillbirth Registration

According to Oklahoma State Statutes, a stillbirth (fetal death) certificate must be filed for registration within three (3) days of the delivery.  The funeral director, or person acting as such who first assumes custody of a fetus, shall file the stillbirth certificate.  In the absence of such a person, the physician or other person in attendance at or after the delivery shall file the certificate.  He shall obtain the personal data from the next of kin or the best-qualified person or source available.  He shall complete the certificate as to personal data and deliver the certificate to that person responsible for completing the medical certification of cause of death within twenty-four (24) hours after delivery.  The medical certification shall be completed and signed within forty-eight (48) hours after delivery by the physician in attendance at or after delivery, except when inquiry into the cause of death is required by Section 938 of Title 63.  (63 OS 1-318)

The stillbirth certificate provides valuable health and research data.  These data are also essential in planning and evaluating prenatal care services and obstetrical programs and, when used with data on neonatal deaths, provide a composite picture of perinatal outcome. 

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