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Unintentional asphyxia, SIDS, and medically explained deaths: a descriptive study of outcomes of child death review (CDR) investigations following sudden unexpected death in infancy.
Forensic Sci Med Pathol. 2016 Dec; 12(4):407-415.FS

Abstract

BACKGROUND

A comprehensive child death review (CDR) program was introduced in England and Wales in 2008, but as yet data have only been analyzed at a local level, limiting the learning from deaths. The aim of this study is to describe the profile of causes and risk factors for sudden unexpected death in infancy (SUDI) as determined by the new CDR program.

METHODS

This was a descriptive outcome study using data from child death overview panel Form C for SUDI cases dying during 2010-2012 in the West Midlands region of England. The main outcome measures were: cause of death, risk factors and potential preventability of death, and determination of deaths probably due to unintentional asphyxia.

RESULTS

Data were obtained for 65/70 (93 %) SUDI cases. 20/65 (31 %) deaths were initially categorized as due to medical causes; 21/65 (32 %) as SIDS; and 24/65 (37 %) as undetermined. Reanalysis suggested that 2/21 SIDS and 7/24 undetermined deaths were probably due to unintentional asphyxia, with 6 of these involving co-sleeping and excessive parental alcohol consumption. Deaths classified as "undetermined" had significantly higher total family and environmental risk factor scores (mean 2.6, 95 % CI 2.0-3.3) compared to those classified as SIDS (mean 1.6, 95 % CI 1.2-1.9), or medical causes for death (mean 1.1, 95 % CI 0.8-1.3). 9/20 (47 %) of medical deaths, 19/21 (90 %) SIDS, and 23/24 (96 %) undetermined deaths were considered to be potentially preventable. There were inadequacies in medical provision identified in 5/20 (25 %) of medically explained deaths.

CONCLUSIONS

The CDR program results in detailed information about risk factors for SUDI cases but failed to recognize deaths probably due to unintentional asphyxia. The misclassification of probable unintentional asphyxial deaths and SIDS as "undetermined deaths" is likely to limit learning from these deaths and inhibit prevention strategies. Many SUDI occurred in families with mental illness, substance misuse and chaotic lifestyles and most in unsafe sleep environments. This knowledge could be used to better target safe sleep advice for vulnerable families and prevent SUDI in the future.

Authors+Show Affiliations

Division of Mental Health and Wellbeing, University of Warwick, Gibbett Hill Road, Coventry, CV4 7AL, UK. Joanna.J.Garstang@warwick.ac.uk. Consultant Community Paediatrician, Coventry and Warwickshire Partnership NHS Trust, Coventry, UK. Joanna.J.Garstang@warwick.ac.uk.Faculty of Health and Life Sciences, Coventry University, Coventry, UK.Division of Health Sciences, University of Warwick, Gibbett Hill Road, Coventry, CV4 7AL, UK.Division of Mental Health and Wellbeing, University of Warwick, Gibbett Hill Road, Coventry, CV4 7AL, UK.

Pub Type(s)

Journal Article

Language

eng

PubMed ID

27503508

Citation

Garstang, Joanna, et al. "Unintentional Asphyxia, SIDS, and Medically Explained Deaths: a Descriptive Study of Outcomes of Child Death Review (CDR) Investigations Following Sudden Unexpected Death in Infancy." Forensic Science, Medicine, and Pathology, vol. 12, no. 4, 2016, pp. 407-415.
Garstang J, Ellis C, Griffiths F, et al. Unintentional asphyxia, SIDS, and medically explained deaths: a descriptive study of outcomes of child death review (CDR) investigations following sudden unexpected death in infancy. Forensic Sci Med Pathol. 2016;12(4):407-415.
Garstang, J., Ellis, C., Griffiths, F., & Sidebotham, P. (2016). Unintentional asphyxia, SIDS, and medically explained deaths: a descriptive study of outcomes of child death review (CDR) investigations following sudden unexpected death in infancy. Forensic Science, Medicine, and Pathology, 12(4), 407-415.
Garstang J, et al. Unintentional Asphyxia, SIDS, and Medically Explained Deaths: a Descriptive Study of Outcomes of Child Death Review (CDR) Investigations Following Sudden Unexpected Death in Infancy. Forensic Sci Med Pathol. 2016;12(4):407-415. PubMed PMID: 27503508.
* Article titles in AMA citation format should be in sentence-case
TY - JOUR T1 - Unintentional asphyxia, SIDS, and medically explained deaths: a descriptive study of outcomes of child death review (CDR) investigations following sudden unexpected death in infancy. AU - Garstang,Joanna, AU - Ellis,Catherine, AU - Griffiths,Frances, AU - Sidebotham,Peter, Y1 - 2016/08/09/ PY - 2016/07/20/accepted PY - 2016/8/10/pubmed PY - 2017/3/11/medline PY - 2016/8/10/entrez KW - Child death review (CDR) KW - Risk factors KW - Sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS) KW - Sudden unexpected death in infancy (SUDI) KW - Unintentional asphyxia SP - 407 EP - 415 JF - Forensic science, medicine, and pathology JO - Forensic Sci Med Pathol VL - 12 IS - 4 N2 - BACKGROUND: A comprehensive child death review (CDR) program was introduced in England and Wales in 2008, but as yet data have only been analyzed at a local level, limiting the learning from deaths. The aim of this study is to describe the profile of causes and risk factors for sudden unexpected death in infancy (SUDI) as determined by the new CDR program. METHODS: This was a descriptive outcome study using data from child death overview panel Form C for SUDI cases dying during 2010-2012 in the West Midlands region of England. The main outcome measures were: cause of death, risk factors and potential preventability of death, and determination of deaths probably due to unintentional asphyxia. RESULTS: Data were obtained for 65/70 (93 %) SUDI cases. 20/65 (31 %) deaths were initially categorized as due to medical causes; 21/65 (32 %) as SIDS; and 24/65 (37 %) as undetermined. Reanalysis suggested that 2/21 SIDS and 7/24 undetermined deaths were probably due to unintentional asphyxia, with 6 of these involving co-sleeping and excessive parental alcohol consumption. Deaths classified as "undetermined" had significantly higher total family and environmental risk factor scores (mean 2.6, 95 % CI 2.0-3.3) compared to those classified as SIDS (mean 1.6, 95 % CI 1.2-1.9), or medical causes for death (mean 1.1, 95 % CI 0.8-1.3). 9/20 (47 %) of medical deaths, 19/21 (90 %) SIDS, and 23/24 (96 %) undetermined deaths were considered to be potentially preventable. There were inadequacies in medical provision identified in 5/20 (25 %) of medically explained deaths. CONCLUSIONS: The CDR program results in detailed information about risk factors for SUDI cases but failed to recognize deaths probably due to unintentional asphyxia. The misclassification of probable unintentional asphyxial deaths and SIDS as "undetermined deaths" is likely to limit learning from these deaths and inhibit prevention strategies. Many SUDI occurred in families with mental illness, substance misuse and chaotic lifestyles and most in unsafe sleep environments. This knowledge could be used to better target safe sleep advice for vulnerable families and prevent SUDI in the future. SN - 1556-2891 UR - https://www.unboundmedicine.com/medline/citation/27503508/Unintentional_asphyxia_SIDS_and_medically_explained_deaths:_a_descriptive_study_of_outcomes_of_child_death_review__CDR__investigations_following_sudden_unexpected_death_in_infancy_ L2 - https://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s12024-016-9802-0 DB - PRIME DP - Unbound Medicine ER -