FOCUS

Infant death at daycare: SIDS or strangulation?  A case requiring PEDIATRIC FORENSIC PATHOLOGY expert witness review.

BACKGROUND

Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS) is a leading cause of death in infants aged less than 1 year. There is little know about the cause of SIDS, though it does frequently occur when the infant is sleeping. In an autopsy, the cause of death is only identified to be SIDS when all other possible diagnoses are ruled out using medical history, history of accidents, abuse, or neglect, and any previously undiagnosed conditions.

CASE

A 6-month old girl is taken to a daycare center where she is left unobserved for a period of time, whereupon she was found to be apneic. Despite full resuscitative efforts, she was pronounced dead. The autopsy identified Tardieu’s spots, an observation found in tissues of persons who have been strangled, or otherwise asphyxiated. The cause of death was listed as “Unexpected Infant Death” (SIDS). The family of the child alleges neglect against the daycare center.

ELITE’S ROLE

ELITE’s physician-led team was asked to secure a top-tier PEDIATRIC FORENSIC PATHOLOGIST expert witness to independently review the case and to determine if the objective data supports death due to neglect, rather than SIDS.

THE MEDICAL EXPERTS

ELITE MEDICAL EXPERTS secured a top-tier professor of PEDIATRIC FORENSIC PATHOLOGY at a major east coast US medical school with experience identifying SIDS and negligent death, having both extensively researched and published on the topic, as well as serving as a medical expert witness in prior cases regarding SIDS.

OUTCOME

The PEDIATRIC FORENSIC PATHOLOGIST expert witness opined that the autopsy and objective findings supported the plaintiff’s theory, necessitating a further investigation into the specific events at the daycare surrounding the infants death.

E-CASE STUDIES are brief clinical vignettes based upon actual cases handled by ELITE. Identifying information has been redacted or altered to protect case confidentiality.

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