Unexplained Pediatric Deaths: Investigation, Certification, and Family Needs [Internet]

San Diego (CA): Academic Forensic Pathology International; 2019.


Procedural guidance and key considerations developed by the National Association of Medical Examiners' Panel on Sudden Unexpected Death in Pediatrics.

This publication reviews medicolegal investigation of sudden, unexpected pediatric deaths, focusing on systems and procedures in the United States and those deaths which remain incompletely understood or entirely unexplained.

Topics include:

  1. The evolution of our understanding and practice in the area of sudden, unexpected pediatric death investigation

  2. Changing philosophies and medical theories as to causation, and changing investigative and certification strategies

  3. Procedural guidance for investigation, autopsy, and ancillary testing, certification, and reporting

  4. Key considerations for prevention, research, and working with family members and other professional team members

This manual represents the combined efforts of a panel of medical examiners, pediatricians, and federal agency representatives, representing the diverse interests of death investigation, autopsy performance, certification, clinical subspecialities (pediatrics, neurology, cardology, child abuse, injury prevention, infectious diseases, genetics, and metabolic diseases), family needs, prevention, and epidemiology.

Publication types

  • Review