Child deaths of unknown cause: review of 7 years' experience

Clin Pediatr (Phila). Nov-Dec 2004;43(9):803-8.


Using data from the Pima County (Arizona) Child Fatality Review Team, we sought to describe the nature of unknown cause pediatric deaths. Of 1,150 total deaths (1995-2001), 22 were unknown cause and 3 had only a mode of death on the death certificate. There were 15 infants <6 months, 4 children 1-4 years, 2 children 5-9 years, 1 preteen (10-14 years), and 3 aged 15-17 years. Four patterns were seen: those resembling SIDS but with confounding history, autopsy, or scene investigation; sleeping toddlers with respiratory symptoms; children with underlying conditions not expected to cause death; and deaths without complete investigation.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Age Factors
  • Arizona
  • Cause of Death*
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Death, Sudden
  • Humans
  • Infant