The Nebraska Legislature created the Child Death Review Team (CDRT) in 1993. At that time, about 300 Nebraska children were dying each year but there was no process to understand why and how the deaths happened.
The CDRT reviews the numbers and causes of deaths of children ages 0 to 17. CDRT members also try to identify cases where a person or community could reasonably have done something to prevent the death. All child deaths are reviewed, not just “suspicious" or violent ones.
The goals of these reviews are to:
For approximately 34% of the deaths, CDRT reviewers somewhat or strongly agreed with the statements:This death was preventable - standard-of-care medical management would have changed the circumstances that led to death. (Medical cases)
This death was preventable - an individual or community could reasonably have done something that would have changed the circumstances that led to death. (Non-medical cases)
Key Strategy: Include preconception care as a vital and routine part of care for reproductive age women.Target Audience: Nebraska Medical Association and members
Key Strategy: Nebraska's home visitation programs should increase the priority of service delivery to families of children with severe disabilities.Target Audience: Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services and local partners
Key Strategy: The Nebraska Medical Association and their members should take the lead on dispelling myths about vaccine safety and promoting infant and child vaccinations.Target Audience: Nebraska Medical Association and pediatric providers
Key Strategy: Actively promote, implement and expand the state's existing protocol on child death scene investigations, including a regional system of experts in death scene investigations.Target Audience: Nebraska Attorney General's Office, Nebraska Law Enforcement Training Center, Nebraska County Attorneys Association
Sudden Unexplained Infant Death (SUID) is a term used to describe unexpected infant deaths and is not an official diagnosis. Further investigation is needed to determine the cause of death, including an autopsy, death scene review, and a review of clinical history. Approximately 1 in 5 infant deaths in Nebraska are related to SUID. Classifying deaths as SUID provides little information for prevention efforts that could be implemented to reduce future similar deaths related to risk factors present.
A group of invested partners convened to develop an updated SUID investigation reporting form and online training for Law Enforcement, First Responders, Investigators, County Attorneys and their Designees, and Forensic Pathologists. Register for the free self-paced training in the Answers 4 Families Classroom. Please follow the Instructions for creating an account and enrolling.
Please utilize the Nebraska SUID Report Form in the investigation of all such deaths.