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
FRCPCH, PhD
Consultant Neonatologist and Honorary Clinical Professor in Child Health, Neonatal Unit, Homerton University Hospital NHS Foundation Trust, London, and Queen Mary University of London
n.aladangady@nhs.net

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

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Keywords
retrieval; transport; transfer; parents; COVID-19; SARS-CoV-2;
Key points
  1. Where possible, parents should have the opportunity to accompany their baby during transfer.
  2. The ANTS team has recommenced the parents in transfer service on an individ-ualised basis where it is safe to do so.
  3. A series of recommendations to guide careful assessment of each case has been developed.
  4. These recommendations will minimise horizontal spread of SARS-CoV-2 during neonatal transfer.

Also published in Infant:

VOLUME 16/ISSUE 4, JULY 2020
Minimising COVID-19 transmission risk during neonatal transport: a practical approach from ANTS
The Acute Neonatal Transfer Service of the East of England (ANTS) has been involved in the transfer of four suspected or confirmed neonatal SARS-CoV-2 (COVID-19) cases. Through this unique clinical experience and related educational activities, we have constructed additional practical recommendations aimed at minimising horizontal SARS-CoV-2 spread during neonatal transfer. Here we present these recommendations for consideration by neonatal transport teams and neonatal units managing neonatal COVID-19 transfers.

Read more...