Background The death of each child is a tragedy. Every parent has a right to have such an event properly investigated.
Paediatricians and police officers play a vital role in managing the multi-agency investigative process following a sudden unexpected death in infancy or childhood (SUDIC). Failure to maintain an appropriate balance between forensic and medical enquiry, and supporting the family, has resulted in devastating consequences and miscarriages of justice.
A national multi-professional protocol was developed to overcome these issues (Kennedy report 2004). The need for appropriate training for all professionals involved in child death was highlighted, along with good communication.
Limited comprehensive specialist child death courses are available for senior professionals. However we are not aware of any current stand alone high fidelity simulation courses to facilitate practical SUDIC training.
Basic SUDIC experience amongst senior paediatric trainees is lacking. Our regional survey amongst senior paediatric trainees in the West Midlands found that the average number of SUDICs they had been involved in was less than one. None of the trainees had observed the whole SUDI process.
Methodology We have developed a one day course for senior paediatric trainees to learn about initial and subsequent management of SUDIC through high fidelity simulation and experiential learning.
We aim to pilot this course in July 2015.
Participants will take part in a simulated SUDI investigation. This includes attempted resuscitation, communication with parents and professionals, and postmortem examination and investigations. They will learn how to conduct a home visit and lead the rapid response meeting.
Outcomes These will be evaluated qualitatively assessing pre and post confidence levels and learning experience.
Potential impact Improvement of the quality of multi-professional SUDI investigations and experiences for families.
Take home message This simulation programme could be adopted for multi-professional SUDIC training for health, social care and police.
Working together to safeguard children: March 2015. A guide to interagency working to safeguard and promote the welfare of children. Chapter 5 child death reviews
Royal College of Pathologists and the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health. Sudden unexpected death in infancy. A multi-agency protocol for care and investigation. London: Royal College of Pathologists and the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health, 2004
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