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Responding to unexpected infant deaths: experience in one English region.
Arch Dis Child 2010; 95(4):291-5AD

Abstract

AIM

New national procedures for responding to the unexpected death of a child in England require a joint agency approach to investigate each death and support the bereaved family. As part of a wider population-based study of sudden unexpected deaths in infancy (SUDI) we evaluated the implementation of this approach.

METHODS

A process evaluation was carried out using a population-based study of all unexpected deaths from birth to 2 years in the South West of England between January 2003 and December 2006. Local police and health professionals followed a standardised approach to the investigation of each death, supported by the research team set up to facilitate this joint approach as well as collect data for a wider research project.

RESULTS

We were notified of 155/157 SUDI, with a median time to notification of 2 h. Initial multi-agency discussions took place in 93.5% of cases. A joint home visit by police officers with health professionals was carried out in 117 cases, 75% within 24 h of the death. Time to notification and interview reduced during the 4 years of the study. Autopsies were conducted on all cases, the median time to autopsy being 3 days. At the conclusion of the investigation, a local multi-agency case discussion was held in 88% of cases. The median time for the whole process (including family support) was 5 months.

CONCLUSIONS

This study has demonstrated that with appropriate protocols and support, the joint agency approach to the investigation of unexpected infant deaths can be successfully implemented.

Authors+Show Affiliations

Health Sciences Research Institute, Warwick Medical School, University of Warwick, Coventry CV4 7AL, UK. p.sidebotham@warwick.ac.ukNo affiliation info availableNo affiliation info availableNo affiliation info availableNo affiliation info availableNo affiliation info available

Pub Type(s)

Journal Article
Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

Language

eng

PubMed ID

19948508

Citation

Sidebotham, Peter, et al. "Responding to Unexpected Infant Deaths: Experience in One English Region." Archives of Disease in Childhood, vol. 95, no. 4, 2010, pp. 291-5.
Sidebotham P, Blair PS, Evason-Coombe C, et al. Responding to unexpected infant deaths: experience in one English region. Arch Dis Child. 2010;95(4):291-5.
Sidebotham, P., Blair, P. S., Evason-Coombe, C., Edmond, M., Heckstall-Smith, E., & Fleming, P. (2010). Responding to unexpected infant deaths: experience in one English region. Archives of Disease in Childhood, 95(4), pp. 291-5. doi:10.1136/adc.2009.167619.
Sidebotham P, et al. Responding to Unexpected Infant Deaths: Experience in One English Region. Arch Dis Child. 2010;95(4):291-5. PubMed PMID: 19948508.
* Article titles in AMA citation format should be in sentence-case
TY - JOUR T1 - Responding to unexpected infant deaths: experience in one English region. AU - Sidebotham,Peter, AU - Blair,Peter S, AU - Evason-Coombe,Carol, AU - Edmond,Margaret, AU - Heckstall-Smith,Ellen, AU - Fleming,Peter, Y1 - 2009/11/29/ PY - 2009/12/2/entrez PY - 2009/12/2/pubmed PY - 2010/5/15/medline SP - 291 EP - 5 JF - Archives of disease in childhood JO - Arch. Dis. Child. VL - 95 IS - 4 N2 - AIM: New national procedures for responding to the unexpected death of a child in England require a joint agency approach to investigate each death and support the bereaved family. As part of a wider population-based study of sudden unexpected deaths in infancy (SUDI) we evaluated the implementation of this approach. METHODS: A process evaluation was carried out using a population-based study of all unexpected deaths from birth to 2 years in the South West of England between January 2003 and December 2006. Local police and health professionals followed a standardised approach to the investigation of each death, supported by the research team set up to facilitate this joint approach as well as collect data for a wider research project. RESULTS: We were notified of 155/157 SUDI, with a median time to notification of 2 h. Initial multi-agency discussions took place in 93.5% of cases. A joint home visit by police officers with health professionals was carried out in 117 cases, 75% within 24 h of the death. Time to notification and interview reduced during the 4 years of the study. Autopsies were conducted on all cases, the median time to autopsy being 3 days. At the conclusion of the investigation, a local multi-agency case discussion was held in 88% of cases. The median time for the whole process (including family support) was 5 months. CONCLUSIONS: This study has demonstrated that with appropriate protocols and support, the joint agency approach to the investigation of unexpected infant deaths can be successfully implemented. SN - 1468-2044 UR - https://www.unboundmedicine.com/medline/citation/19948508/Responding_to_unexpected_infant_deaths:_experience_in_one_English_region_ L2 - http://adc.bmj.com/cgi/pmidlookup?view=long&pmid=19948508 DB - PRIME DP - Unbound Medicine ER -