Advertisement

Topics

The medico-legal investigation of sudden, unexpected and/or unexplained infant deaths in South Africa: where are we-and where are we going?

Summary of "The medico-legal investigation of sudden, unexpected and/or unexplained infant deaths in South Africa: where are we-and where are we going?"

Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS) has been reported to be the leading cause of death in infants under 1 year of age in many countries. Unfortunately, a paucity of published research data exists in South Africa, with regard to the incidence of and investigation into the circumstances surrounding Sudden Unexplained Deaths in Infants (SUDI) and/or SIDS. Currently, even though most academic centers conform to a protocol consistent with internationally accepted standards, there exists no nationally accepted infant death investigation protocol in South Africa. It is the aim of this study to review the current practice of infant death investigation in two representative but geographically and demographically distinct centers. Retrospective case audit over a five-year period (2000-2004) was conducted at two large medico-legal mortuaries in Pretoria (Gauteng) and Tygerberg (Cape Town). Case files on all infants younger than 1 year of age were reviewed. The outcome measures included number of deaths, demographic details and the nature and final outcome of the post mortem examinations. A total of 512 cases were identified as possible SIDS cases and of these, 171 was classified as SIDS. The study showed marked inter-case and inter-divisional variation in terms of the investigation of infant deaths at the two institutions. It is envisaged that this study will focus attention on the current lack of usable data regarding sudden/unexplained/unexpected infant deaths in South Africa, and aid in the formulation and implementation of a practical (yet internationally accountable) infant death investigation protocol, which could facilitate comparisons with other countries and initiate further structured research in this field.

Affiliation

Department of Forensic Medicine, University of Pretoria, P.O. Box 2034, Pretoria, 0001, South Africa, lorraine.dutoit@up.ac.za.

Journal Details

This article was published in the following journal.

Name: Forensic science, medicine, and pathology
ISSN: 1556-2891
Pages:

Links

DeepDyve research library

PubMed Articles [7251 Associated PubMed Articles listed on BioPortfolio]

The Institution of a Standardized Investigation Protocol for Sudden Infant Death in the Eastern Metropole, Cape Town, South Africa(,) (.)

The rate for the sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS) in Cape Town, South Africa, is estimated to be among the highest in the world (3.41/1000 live births). In several of these areas, including those o...

Racial and Ethnic Trends in Sudden Unexpected Infant Deaths: United States, 1995-2013.

Immediately after the 1994 Back-to-Sleep campaign, sudden unexpected infant death (SUID) rates decreased dramatically, but they have remained relatively stable (93.4 per 100 000 live births) since 2...

Natural and Undetermined Sudden Death: Value of Post-Mortem Genetic Investigation.

Sudden unexplained death may be the first manifestation of an unknown inherited cardiac disease. Current genetic technologies may enable the unraveling of an etiology and the identification of relativ...

Demographic, clinical and pathological features of sudden deaths due to myocarditis: Results from a state-wide population-based autopsy study.

Causes of sudden cardiac deaths have been widely reported with limited data focused specifically on myocarditis. A retrospective review of cases from the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner (OCME), S...

The combination of bed sharing and maternal smoking leads to a greatly increased risk of sudden unexpected death in infancy: the New Zealand SUDI Nationwide Case Control Study.

Despite a major reduction in overall infant mortality, sudden unexpected death in infancy (SUDI) continues to be of concern in New Zealand, as the rate is high by international standards, and is even ...

Clinical Trials [2769 Associated Clinical Trials listed on BioPortfolio]

Cardiac Rhythm Abnormalities in Patients With Refractory Epilepsy at High Risk for Sudden Death

People with epilepsy are at a higher risk for sudden unexpected death than the general population. Sudden unexpected death in epilepsy (SUDEP) is a major cause of death in this population...

Registry of Unexplained Cardiac Arrest

The project will evaluate a standardized testing protocol in detecting the cause of cardiac arrest and familial sudden death in patients with apparently unexplained cardiac arrest. The tes...

Genetic Autopsy and Sudden Death

The purpose of the study is to better identify hereditary cardiac causes of sudden unexpected death in young subjects through Next-Generation Sequencing of autopsy tissue

Evaluating the Genetic Factors That May Lead to Sudden Cardiac Arrest (The GenSCA Study)

Sudden cardiac arrest (SCA) is a sudden, unexpected loss of heart function. It is a leading cause of death, and more than 400,000 people in the United States die each year as a result of S...

The Role of Electrophysiology Testing in Survivors of Unexplained Cardiac Arrest

Sudden cardiac death (SCD) remains a major cause of mortality within developed nations despite aggressive efforts to reduce its societal burden. Despite extensive clinical and genetic inve...

Medical and Biotech [MESH] Definitions

The abrupt and unexplained death of an apparently healthy infant under one year of age, remaining unexplained after a thorough case investigation, including performance of a complete autopsy, examination of the death scene, and review of the clinical history. (Pediatr Pathol 1991 Sep-Oct;11(5):677-84)

Postnatal deaths from BIRTH to 365 days after birth in a given population. Postneonatal mortality represents deaths between 28 days and 365 days after birth (as defined by National Center for Health Statistics). Neonatal mortality represents deaths from birth to 27 days after birth.

Persistent health symptoms which remain unexplained after a complete medical evaluation. A cluster of symptoms that consistently appear together but without a known cause are referred to as a MEDICALLY UNEXPLAINED SYNDROME (MUS).

Unexpected rapid natural death due to cardiovascular collapse within one hour of initial symptoms. It is usually caused by the worsening of existing heart diseases. The sudden onset of symptoms, such as CHEST PAIN and CARDIAC ARRHYTHMIAS, particularly VENTRICULAR TACHYCARDIA, can lead to the loss of consciousness and cardiac arrest followed by biological death. (from Braunwald's Heart Disease: A Textbook of Cardiovascular Medicine, 7th ed., 2005)

Interactional process combining investigation, discussion, and agreement by a number of people in the preparation and carrying out of a program to ameliorate conditions of need or social pathology in the community. It usually involves the action of a formal political, legal, or recognized voluntary body.

Quick Search
Advertisement
 


DeepDyve research library

Searches Linking to this Article