Infant Death Scene Investigation

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The sudden unexpected death of an infant is a tragedy to the family, a concern to the community, and an indicator of national health. To accurately determine the cause and manner of the infant’s death, a thorough and accurate death scene investigation by properly trained personnel is key. Funding and resources are directed based on autopsy reports, which are only as accurate as the scene investigation. The investigation should include a standardized format, body diagrams, and a photographed or videotaped scene recreation utilizing doll reenactment. Forensic nurses, with their basic nursing knowledge and additional forensic skills and abilities, are optimally suited to conduct infant death scene investigations as well as train others to properly conduct death scene investigations. Currently, 49 states have child death review teams, which is an idea avenue for a forensic nurse to become involved in death scene investigations.

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