A functional approach to sudden unexplained infant deaths

Am J Forensic Med Pathol. 2007 Sep;28(3):271-7. doi: 10.1097/01.paf.0000257385.25803.cf.


There is a great deal of variation in the methods and wording used by medical examiners in the medicolegal investigation and certification of infant deaths. This paper was created by the NAME Ad Hoc Committee on Sudden Unexplained Infant Death to address several specific issues, namely: * To establish a functional approach to the investigation of sudden unexplained infant deaths; * To outline a "bare minimum" set of recommendations to define the scope of investigation required; * To recommend methods and wording to be used when certifying infant deaths; * To develop a list of potential stressors or possible external causes of death that should be identified and reported on the death certificate and/or within a medical examiner/coroner office database. This paper was electronically posted for NAME member review and comment for a period of 30 days. The paper was further revised based on member comments and then submitted to the NAME board of directors in the fall of 2005 prior to the annual meeting. This text of this paper was officially approved and endorsed by the NAME board of directors on October 14, 2005, at the annual meeting in Los Angeles, CA.

Publication types

  • Guideline

MeSH terms

  • Death Certificates
  • Documentation / standards
  • Forensic Medicine / organization & administration*
  • Forensic Medicine / standards*
  • Forms and Records Control
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Sudden Infant Death / diagnosis*