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OBJECTIVE: To apply the World Health Organization (WHO) Application of the International Classification of Diseases, tenth revision (ICD-10) to deaths during the perinatal period: ICD-Perinatal Mortality (ICD-PM) to existing perinatal death databases. DESIGN: Retrospective application of ICD-PM. SETTING: South Africa, UK. POPULATION: Perinatal death databases. METHODS: Deaths were grouped according to timing of death and then by the ICD-PM cause of death. The main maternal condition at the time of perinatal death was assigned to each case. MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: Causes of perinatal mortality, associated maternal conditions. RESULTS: In South Africa 344/689 (50%) deaths occurred antepartum, 11% (n = 74) intrapartum and 39% (n = 271) in the early neonatal period. In the UK 4377/9067 (48.3%) deaths occurred antepartum, with 457 (5%) intrapartum and 4233 (46.7%) in the neonatal period. Antepartum deaths were due to unspecified causes (59%), chromosomal abnormalities (21%) or problems related to fetal growth (14%). Intrapartum deaths followed acute intrapartum events (69%); neonatal deaths followed consequences of low birthweight/ prematurity (31%), chromosomal abnormalities (26%), or unspecified causes in healthy mothers (25%). Mothers were often healthy; 53%, 38% and 45% in the antepartum, intrapartum and neonatal death groups, respectively. Where there was a maternal condition, it was most often maternal medical conditions, and complications of placenta, cord and membranes. CONCLUSIONS: The ICD-PM can be a globally applicable perinatal death classification system that emphasises the need for a focus on the mother-baby dyad as we move beyond 2015. TWEETABLE ABSTRACT: ICD-PM is a global system that classifies perinatal deaths and links them to maternal conditions.