Procedures in child deaths in The Netherlands: a comparison with child death review.

Authors: Gijzen S, Petter J, L'Hoir MP, Boere-Boonekamp MM, Need A


Z Gesundh Wiss. 2017;25(4):357-370

AIM: Child Death Review (CDR) is a method in which every child death is systematically and multidisciplinary examined to (1) improve death statistics, (2) identify factors that give direction for prevention, (3) translate the results into possible interventions, and (4) support families. The aim of this study was to determine to what extent procedures of organizations involved in the (health) care for children in The Netherlands cover these four objectives of CDR.
SUBJECT AND METHODS: Organizations in the Eastern part of The Netherlands and Dutch umbrella organizations involved in child (health) care were asked to provide their protocols, guidelines or other working agreements that describe their activities and responsibilities in case of a child's death. Eighteen documents and nine interview reports were made available. For the analyses we used scorecards for each CDR objective.
RESULTS: The procedures of Perined, the National Cot Death Study Group, Dutch Cot Death Foundation and Child Protection Service cover the largest part of the objectives of CDR. Organizations pay most attention to the translation of results into possible interventions. Family support gets the least attention in protocols, guidelines and other working agreements.
CONCLUSION: Dutch organizations separately cover parts of CDR. When the procedures of organizations are combined, all CDR objectives are covered in the response to only specific groups of child deaths, i.e., perinatal deaths, Sudden Unexpected Deaths in Infants and fatal child abuse cases. Further research into the conditions that are needed for an optimal implementation of CDR in The Netherlands is necessary. This research should also evaluate the recently implemented NODOK procedure (Further Examination of the Causes of death in Children), directed to investigate unexplained deaths in minors 0-18 years old.



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