Variation in practice in the Investigation and classification of Sudden Unexpected Death in Infancy; Findings from a national CDOP survey.
Joanna Garstang, M Cohen, E Mitchell& P Sidebotham,Warwick Medical School, UK; Sheffield Children’s Hospital & University of Auckland, NZ
Aim: To identify current CDOP practices in the investigation and classification of Sudden Unexpected Death in Infancy (SUDI) cases
Methods: All CDOPs were invited to participate, they were asked to review 3 fictitious SUDI cases and detail local investigations. CDOPs were asked to state the cause of death usually recorded by their CDOP for each case, their own opinion on cause of death and list any risk factors.
CHARLIE was found supine, co-sleeping in his parents’ bed. SAMMY was found behind his father on the sofa, father had consumed 8 units of alcohol. MILLY was found supine in a moses basket.
Results: 31/92 CDOPs participated. The causes of death are shown in figures 1, causes recorded by CDOPs were frequently different from what CDOPs actually considered the cause of death to be. CDOPs identified a mean of 8 risk factors (range 3-12) for CHARLIE, 7 (3-14) for SAMMY, and 4 (1-7) for MILLY. CDOPs investigated a median of 3 (range 1-28) SUDI annually.
Clear standards are needed to accurately classify causes and risk factors in SUDI.