Sudden infant death in Austria--status quo and recommendations of the SIDS Consensus Working Group for Improved Registration

Ipsiroglu,O.S.; Fatemi,A.; Rabl,W.; Klupp,N.; Roll,P.; Meyer,H.; Kerbl,R.; Kurz,R.
Sudden infant death (SID) is the most common cause of death among infants aged 2 to 12 months in Austria. The complete autopsy required in order to diagnose SID, including the additional investigations, and the comprehensive autopsies needed for epidemiological studies are not common practice because of the different statutory regulations in the provinces and the absence of a uniform federal law in this regard. According to statistics, in the last four years only 83% (1997) to 70% (1999) of the reported SID cases in Austria were autopsied. Our survey in the forensic medicine and pathological institutes of Austria also revealed markedly different practices in regard of the manner in which autopsies are performed and parents are interviewed and followed up. For this reason, the SIDS Consensus Work Group of Austrian centers for the prevention of sudden infant death recommends the following: a) a comprehensive autopsy by a trained specialist to be established as a prerequisite for diagnosing "SIDS"; b) performing autopsies on a centralized basis in those forensic or pathological institutes that have agreed to adhere to protocol-based autopsy standards; c) the introduction of quality control in terms of a regional clinical- pathological conference; and d) standardizing the elements of the interview with parents of SID victims. Implementing these measures and entering the collected information into a data base in which the master data are encoded by the individual institutions, will help to evaluate the role of major epidemiological risk factors that information campaigns are focused upon, namely sleeping in prone position, the role of nicotine, etc. In addition, it will be necessary to formulate federal laws that standardize the divergent provincial regulations
Wien.Klin.Wochenschr. 2002 114(17-18):795-800
Tags: aged; Austria; autopsy; Cause of Death; Data Collection; epidemiology; forensic; forensic medicine; human; Infant; pathology; prevention & control; Quality Assurance,Health Care; Quality Control; RECOMMENDATIONS; Registries; Risk Factors; standards; statistics & numerical data; Sudden Infant Death
PubMed: 12416287
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