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Objective: To delineate the cause of sudden deaths in children as well as individuals’ characteristics of a 10- year autopsy experience at Siriraj Hospital. The aim of this study was also to prevent the deaths that can be used as a guideline for the public health policy in prevention such deaths.
Material and Methods: A retrospective, exploratory analysis of the child cadavers aged 15 years and under and underwent the process of medicolegal autopsy as to their sudden deaths at Department of Forensic Medicine Siriraj Hospital, Mahidol University, during the 10 year period from 2001 to 2010, was conducted. One hundred and seventy one deaths were identified and subsequently examined relative to decedent characteristics, age and six, and cause and manner of death. The information used in the study was derived from a review of the police reports, medical records, and medicolegal autopsy reports, using the descriptive statistical methods to analyze the data.
Results: The total number of the deaths identified during the study period was 171 (0.9% of all deaths under investigation), male 97 (56.7%), female 74 (43.3%). The cases were mostly found in children aged less than 1 year. The most common cause of death was undetermined, which most occurred in children aged less than 1 year as well. With this cause exclusion, congenital heart anomaly was the prominent cause of death in neonates (< 1 m). Whereas infectious disease was in infants (< 1 y).
Conclusion: The trend of sudden deaths infant and children over a 10-year period was quite stable, with a mean autopsy rate 17 cases per year. Male was more common than female. The most leading cause of death was different in each age group. To target preventive efforts in children death effectively, the relevant agencies should take such information into consideration.
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