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Product of birth—head circumference, total centimetres NN[N].N

Identifying and definitional attributes

Metadata item type:Help on this termData Element
Short name:Help on this termBaby head circumference
METeOR identifier:Help on this term733429
Registration status:Help on this termHealth, Standard 03/12/2020
Definition:Help on this term

The head circumference of a baby at birth, measured in centimetres.

Context:Help on this term


Data Element Concept:Product of birth—head circumference

Value domain attributes

Representational attributes

Representation class:Help on this termTotal
Data type:Help on this termNumber
Format:Help on this termNN[N].N
Maximum character length:Help on this term4
Supplementary values:Help on this term
999.9Not measured
Unit of measure:Help on this termCentimetre (cm)

Data element attributes

Collection and usage attributes

Guide for use:Help on this term

This data element applies to newborn babies. It enables the calculation of growth centiles which requires the measurement of head circumference and birthweight and/or length. Baby head circumference together with other anthropometric measurements assist with determining whether a baby is small for gestational age or has experienced intrauterine growth restriction. In addition, head circumference measurement enables identification of newborns with microcephaly, either primary or as an association with other pathology, for example, Fetal Alcohol Syndrome.

Head circumference should preferably be measured in the first hour of life at the same time as the birthweight is measured, to maximise comparability of these two measures in percentile calculations. A narrow, flexible, inelastic tape measure with clearly legible intervals and labels should be used.

Ideally the circumference should be plotted on a percentile chart to ensure it is within the 10th–90th percentile curves and consistent with the length and weight percentile.

In perinatal collections, the head circumference is to be provided for live born and stillborn babies.

Collection methods:Help on this term

The maximum head circumference should be recorded. Often after birth, the newborn’s head has some moulding so care needs to be taken to find the maximum circumference. Generally this is found with the tape passing just above the eyebrows anteriorly, above the top of the ears and around the maximum point of the occiput posteriorly—the Occipito-Frontal Circumference (OFC).

The measurement should be repeated at least twice, and until two measurements are found within 0.5 cm of each other. Record the greater measurement.

Source and reference attributes

Submitting organisation:Help on this term

National Perinatal Data Development Committee

Relational attributes

Related metadata references:Help on this term

Supersedes Product of birth—head circumference, total centimetres NN[N].N Health, Superseded 03/12/2020, Tasmanian Health, Endorsed 03/07/2020

Implementation in Data Set Specifications:Help on this term
All attributes +

Perinatal NBEDS 2021–22 Health, Superseded 17/12/2021

DSS specific attributes +

Perinatal NBEDS 2022–23 Health, Standard 17/12/2021

DSS specific attributes +
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