IT IS ESSENTIAL THAT A COMMUNITY MONITOR THE HEALTH OF ITS CHILDREN. Convened in the summer of 1996 by the Island County Health Department, the Island County Infant and Child Death Prevention Review Team (ICDPR) was among the first organizations of its kind in Washington. Its purpose is to determine whether the death of a child might have been prevented by an agency and/or individual. The process involves the regular and systematic review of unexpected deaths among infants and children who died in Island County and are under 18 years old by a multi-disciplinary team. Additional objectives include enhancing interagency communication and improving the quality of data on child deaths to identify risk factors and preventive strategies. The Team makes recommendations for the development of public policy and community and professional education.
The Team meets on an as needed basis determined by the Coroner and Island County Health Officer. Through careful review, enhanced interagency communication, and education, we hope to improve the reporting and investigation of these deaths and decrease their occurrence in the future.
The ICDPR Team has representation from several county agencies and disciplines concerned with child well-being. Members may include: the County Coroner; the Health Officer; community pediatricians; the Prosecuting Attorney (or designee); and representatives from Child Protective Services and Island County Sheriff's Office; Oak Harbor, Coupeville, and/or Langley Police Department members; Island County Emergency Medical Services (first responders), school districts, and Health Department. Other individuals with experience related to an individual case may be invited to attend the death review meeting.
Cases are selected by the County Coroner and Health Officer, and include all potentially preventable unexpected deaths of Island County residents under 18 years of age which occurred during the preceding three to six months. A standard format is followed with review of information from the autopsy, the death scene investigation, the child's medical and family history, and discussions with health and social service providers. A complete autopsy involves both an internal and external examination of the body and toxicology, and may include microscopic examination and other studies. A scheme for coding causes of death based on the International Classification of Diseases, ninth revision, and a schedule for biennial review was created. A standardized child death review data collection form from the Washington State Department of Health is utilized.
In reviewing each death the Team considers whether or not the death was preventable by an agency or an individual. The final determination is achieved by consensus.