Investigations of sudden and unexpected deaths in children are challenging for many reasons. These deaths typically invoke a significant emotional response experienced not only by family and friends, but also by first responders, health care providers and death investigators. In an effort to ensure the best information is available to the death investigation team, defined investigative protocols are utilized. Subsequent multidisciplinary review of all deaths of children under
age 5 ensures accurate investigative conclusions.
Within its mandate to promote public safety the Office of the Chief Coroner works to enhance patient safety.
Medical reviews are undertaken by the Paediatric Death Review Committee to provide clarity to medical issues involved in the time preceding a child’s death. This is done to ensure a complete understanding of the circumstances of the death, at times prompting recommendations directed to health care facilities to enhance future patient care.
In addition, the child welfare component of the Paediatric Death Review Committee under the leadership of Ms. Karen Bridgman-Acker, reviews the deaths of children who were actively receiving service from a Children’s Aid Society at the time, or within the 12 months prior to the death, in order to offer recommendations to reduce the chance of future death in similar circumstances.
This broadcast will coincide with the release of the 2011 nnual Report of the Office of the Chief Coroner Deaths
under Five Review Committee and the Paediatric Death Review Committee. Dr. Dirk Huyer and Karen Bridgman-
Acker will utilize case examples to illustrate themes, lessons learned and recommendations that stem from the work of the paediatric review committees.