What information is needed for each child who dies?

  1. Full name, hospital or clinic number, gender (sex), age (date of birth) and date of death.
  2. Full clinical history including past history, record of immunisation, review of the growth chart in the Road-to-Health Card, family history and home conditions.
  3. Results of a full examination together with an assessment of the growth and nutritional status.
  4. Any special investigations (e.g. blood and urine tests, X-rays).

All the information must be summarised before the meeting so that a brief summary can be presented. This is often handed out on an information sheet or presented with an overhead projector. It is boring and wastes time if information has to be looked for in the patient’s records during the meeting.

A register of all admissions and deaths must be kept in each service area (e.g. ward) so that no deaths are missed and the number of admissions are known. Basic information in the ward or clinic register must include each patient’s name, folder number, age, sex and weight. All wards should keep a monthly death register which records all deaths in that month. Often each death is given a unique code (number).

A brief clinical summary must be prepared before the mortality meeting for each child who has died.

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