All stillbirths in 1985 and 1986 in three Danish counties were assessed in a perinatal audit. The aim was to investigate if departure from generally accepted standards of satisfactory perinatal care might have contributed to stillbirths, and also to investigate if differences in the structure of antenatal care and the delivery systems might have any influence on the rate of stillbirths. 119 cases evaluated, 70 were classified as unavoidable deaths, in 48 cases a different treatment might have improved the infant's possibility of survival and in one case consensus was not reached. The most frequent cause of suboptimal care was inadequate antenatal care of obvious signs of intrauterine growth retardation. Directives for visitation between surgical and obstetric departments were essential to the rate of stillbirth. The results indicate that it might be possible to achieve a further decrease in the number of stillbirths by intensifying the postgraduate training of the professionals and by issuing guidelines for the sharing of care responsibilities.