Infant Journal
for neonatal and paediatric healthcare professionals

When should a neonatal death be referred to the coroner? Initiation of a guideline to aid decision making

Despite improved survival, particularly for extremely preterm infants, sadly some neonates die. When this happens, it may be appropriate to refer the death to the coroner, however, there is huge variation in practice between settings regarding the coroner referral process. After a particular case concerning several hospitals, we reviewed available evidence and produced a guideline to aid this process, involving both neonatologists and our coroner’s office, and including parental concerns. This has enabled a systematic, transparent approach that is equal for all infants.

Narendra Aladangady
Consultant Neonatologist and Honorary Clinical Professor in Child Health, Neonatal Unit, Homerton University Hospital NHS Foundation Trust, London, and Queen Mary University of London

Philippa Chisholm
Consultant Neonatologist, Neonatal Unit, Homerton University Hospital NHS Foundation Trust, London

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COVID-19; personal protective equipment; infection control
Key points
  1. The current COVID-19 outbreak has raised concern about providing high quality neonatal care while minimising risk to staff.
  2. Simulation can help address these challenges by promoting teamwork and testing logistics in novel situations.

Also published in Infant:

VOLUME 16, ISSUE 3, MAY 2020
Practical considerations for the emergency delivery of babies from mothers with confirmed or suspected COVID-19
Maternity and neonatal departments must be prepared for the delivery of babies from COVID-19 positive women. We describe a guideline developed at the North Middlesex University Hospital maternity unit, for multidisciplinary team members attending an emergency caesarean section of mothers with confirmed or suspected COVID-19. Anticipated staff actions and personal protective equipment were considered to optimise staff safety and reduce transmission of SARS-CoV-2. We recommend units generate individualised guidance suitable to their settings.