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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neonatologist-performed echocardiography; NoPE; targeted neonatal echocardiography; training and accreditation; higher specialist trainee
Key points
  1. NoPE provides enhanced clinical care within neonatal intensive care settings.
  2. European and UK NoPE training statements mandate collaboration between paediatric cardiology and neonatology.
  3. Collaborative NoPE training can be delivered within the UK neonatal HST programme.
  4. Formal UK certification and NoPE training programmes should be developed.

Also published in Infant:

Emphasising the importance of haemodynamic assessment of neonates
Seventh Neonatal Cardiology and Haemodynamics (NeoCard) conference

This year’s NeoCard conference focussed on the various aspects of neonatal perfusion assessement and its management.