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Investigating Infant Deaths

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Investigating Infant Deaths

This book draws on the expertise of a forensic nurse and member of the CDC core team for the Sudden Unexpected Infant Death Investigation Reporting Form to provide medicolegal death investigators and law enforcement personnel with investigative techniques applicable to sudden unexpected infant deaths.

By Bobbi Jo O'Neal,

ISBN: 9780849382048

Retail price: $109.95   $84.95

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  • Presents 40 case examples throughout the text to illustrate the techniques at work
  • Includes 44 pictures of scenes, unsafe environments, and doll re-enactments
  • Provides suggestions and techniques for interviewing, conducting doll re-enactments, and employing the “double-team” approach
  • Compares Investigative and Retrospective Child Death Reviews with sample transcripts

    It stands to reason that the most difficult cases to investigate are those in which the individual’s death was sudden, unexpected, and unexplained. Very few deaths occur where the deceased has no significant medical history, no trauma, no significant autopsy findings, and very little social history in which to investigate. Infant deaths almost always fit this category, making them consistently the most complicated and challenging deaths to investigate.

    Investigating Infant Deaths draws on the expertise of a forensic nurse and member of the CDC core team for the Sudden Unexpected Infant Death Investigation Reporting Form to provide medicolegal death investigators and law enforcement personnel with investigative techniques applicable to sudden unexpected infant deaths. Beginning with a general state-of-the-field, the author defines the role of the investigator and explains the benefits of “double-teaming” an investigation. The book emphasizes the importance of timing and gives crucial tips for examining the incident scene and performing an initial post-mortem external exam. Specific instruction regarding the “art” of interviewing the grieving parents and how to follow up with families gives investigators an important edge when autopsy findings are slim. Additional chapters cover how to use a doll re-enactment and how to review medical records, social service records, and criminal histories. It also illustrates how to set up task forces including State Child Fatality Teams and an Investigative Child Death Review at the local level.  Case studies are used throughout the book to give investigators real-life examples of the techniques at work.

    Presenting a workable approach that may facilitate a re-evaluation of current protocols, Investigating Infant Deaths provides the tools for continued improvement that will ensure all infant deaths are investigated thoroughly and thereby help prevent future premature infant deaths from occurring.

  • Table of Contents
    Investigating Infant Deaths: Why Is It Important?
    The Process
    The Impact
    Why Are They Difficult to Investigate?
    What Is Being Done about It?
    Current Statistics
    Goal and Text Organization
    Maternal and Infant Health: What Investigators Should Know
    Maternal Health
    Infant Health
    Infant Growth and Development
    The Investigation Begins: Timing Is Everything
    A Common Beginning
    Think outside the Box
    Advanced Notification
    Following Death Notification
    Double-Team Approach
    First Responders: Their Observations Are Important
    9-1-1 Emergency Calls
    First Responders
    Initial Postmortem External Assessment
    Logistics
    Photodocumentation
    Performing the External Assessment
    Equipment Needed
    Assessing the Infant’s General Appearance
    Skin Assessment
    Body Diagram
    Physical Evidence
    Transporting the Body
    Infant Death Scene Investigation: It Tells a Story
    Death Scene Investigation: When Does It Begin?
    Macro vs. Micro: What Is the Difference?
    Documenting the Macroenvironment
    Documenting the Microenvironment
    Evidence or Chain of Custody
    Day-Care Centers
    The Art of Interviewing
    Interview Basics
    Types of Interviews
    Initial Interview
    Clarification Interview
    Follow-Up Interview
    Interrogation
    Doll Reenactment with Scene Walk-Through
    The Opposition
    Benefits of Doll Reenactments
    Preplanning: Doll Reenactment and Scene Walk-Through
    Equipment
    Preplanning the Doll Reenactment: What to Consider
    Explain Procedure to Law Enforcement
    Explain Procedure to Witnesses
    Initiating the Scene Walk-Through and Doll Reenactment
    Investigative Concerns
    The Forensic Autopsy: The Investigator’s Role
    Why Should MDIs Be Informed?
    Autopsy Basics
    Communication
    The Infant Forensic Autopsy: Before, During, and After
    Records Review: Let the Records Speak
    HIPAA
    Infant’s Medical Record Review
    Pharmacy Records
    State Health and Home Health Agencies
    Family Medical Records Review
    Social Service Records Review
    Birth Certificates
    School Records
    Criminal Records Review
    Previous Infant Deaths
    Child Death Review: It Brings It All Together
    History
    Types of CDRs
    ICDR
    Retrospective CDRs
    Family or Caregiver Follow-Up and Referral
    Family Follow-Up
    Family Referrals
    Where Do We Go from Here?
    Death Investigation Guidelines
    Agency Policies and Protocols
    Professional Certification
    Death Certificate Completion
    Proactive Prevention Initiatives
    Index

  • Publication Date: 5/7/2007
    Number of Pages: 256

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