Fatalities assessed by the Orange County child death review team, 1989 to 1991

Child Abuse Negl. 1995 Jul;19(7):875-83. doi: 10.1016/0145-2134(95)00043-8.


Interagency child death review teams have emerged in response to the increasing awareness of severe violence perpetrated against children in the United States. Child death review involves a systematic, multidisciplinary, and multiagency process to coordinate data and resources from the coroner, law enforcement, the courts, child protective services, and health care providers. The Orange County, CA team reviews all coroner's cases (unattended death or questionable cause of death) for children 12 years old and younger. This paper describes the interagency review in Orange County and provides data on the demographics of cases reviewed by the team (N = 637) compared to unreviewed deaths (N = 1,463) for the period 1989 to 1991. Trends were analyzed to assess differences in: (1) age distribution; (2) gender; (3) ethnicity; (4) cause of death (non-SIDS natural; non-natural including traffic deaths, SIDS, other injuries; homicide; and undetermined); and (5) cause of death by age, gender, and ethnicity. Implications of the data for other jurisdictions with child death review teams are discussed.

MeSH terms

  • California / epidemiology
  • Cause of Death*
  • Child
  • Child Abuse / legislation & jurisprudence
  • Child Abuse / mortality*
  • Child Abuse / prevention & control
  • Child Welfare / legislation & jurisprudence
  • Child, Preschool
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Incidence
  • Infant
  • Infanticide / legislation & jurisprudence
  • Infanticide / statistics & numerical data
  • Male
  • Patient Care Team / legislation & jurisprudence