Rhode Island Child Death Review Team

Dates: 2015

State: Rhode Island

Client(s): Rhode Island Department of Health

Services: Health Care & Public Health Planning, Health Information Technology, Training & Technical Assistance, Applied Research & Evaluation

Technical Expertise: Health Disparities, Healthy Communities, Maternal and Child Health, Population Health, Primary Care, Rural Health, State and Local Public Health, Family Planning & Reproductive Health

Injuries are the leading cause of death of children in the United States. With adequate attention and support, the occurrence of these deaths can be reduced. Raising awareness, educating parents and communities, and enacting policies and laws designed to protect children can influence circumstances that lead to fatal injuries and prevent them from occurring.

Child death review teams (CDRT), also known as child fatality review teams, were first established to review suspicious child deaths involving abuse or neglect. These teams have expanded further toward a public health model of prevention of child fatality through the systematic review of child deaths from birth through adolescence. Local and state CDRTs have been in operation in the United States for more than a quarter of a century; today there are teams in all 50 states. These teams are designed to identify the circumstances leading to a child’s death, and to provide suggestions for preventing future child deaths. The process of fatality review has identified effective local and state prevention strategies for reducing child deaths.

The Rhode Island Department of Health, Center for Health Data and Analysis, contracted with JSI to provide the coordination functions of the Rhode Island CDRT. JSI coordinates the RI team and provides data management and analysis support. JSI staff review all child deaths in RI and manage the data entry of RI child death data into the National Center for Child Death Review Database. JSI then brings certain cases to the attention of the entire team, and the full team reviews in detail all deaths due to sudden unexplained infant deaths (SUID), injuries, homicides, suicides, abuse/neglect and deaths of natural causes that are potentially preventable.


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