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Child death review

BC Child Death Review

by Kellie Kilpatrick   7.10.2007

Kellie Kilpatrick
Director, Child Death Review Unit
Office of the Chief Coroner

The British Columbia Child Death Review Unit is situated with the BC Coroners Service and is mandated to complete comprehensive reviews on all child deaths to better understand how and why children die. The findings are used to take action to prevent other deaths and to improve the health, safety and well-being of all children in British Columbia. The model is based on a population health approach considering the range of individual and collective factors to correspond to health status.

Whenever a child dies, the BC Coroners Service is responsible for determining the child's identity and how, when, where and by what means the child died. Once the Coroner has completed the investigation, cases are reviewed by the multi-disciplinary Child Death Review Unit using a child death review protocol developed and based on best practices from the field of child death review in Canada and the United States. This protocol examines 188 variables that assist in the identification of causal and contributory risk factors and emerging areas for prevention.

Through outreach, the Child Death Review Unit will facilitate information sharing and support the development of coordinated strategies which target the areas of risk. This will require strong partnerships with families, communities and agencies across the public and private sector.

Every death of a child in British Columbia matters. These deaths need to be understood in order to prevent harm to other children.

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