When a Child Dies Unexpectedly: No Truth Be Told

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Abstract

Sudden death of a child beyond infancy is a rare event. We report a child who presented to the emergency care system with asystole and the caregiver's report of an asthma attack as the preceding event. After unsuccessful attempts at resuscitation, an autopsy was performed by the medical examiner. Despite only scattered bruises with no clear-cut signs of abuse, aortic rupture and spinal fractures were found. This case highlights the crucial role of the medical examiner in evaluating sudden childhood death, even in the setting of underlying illness.

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