Sudden Unexplained Infant Death Investigation Training Material

Curriculum Guide
Training Manual Description
Training Manual (PDF)
Scene Investigation Guidelines
Supplemental Forms
Sudedent Unexpected Infant Death Investigations Brochure

Curriculum Guide: Sudden Unexpected Infant Death Investigation

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This curriculum guide was created to improve teaching and evaluation techniques in the death investigator education and training programs. It provides instructional outlines and references to assist the instructor in the educational program. Covering only the topics delineated in the publication Sudden Unexplained Infant Death Investigation, it should be sufficiently comprehensive to help subject matter experts design instructional plans for teaching the recommended investigative guidelines. In addition, the performance objectives and criterion statements written for each task provide a consistent way to establish standards for people completing the program.

This curriculum guide is representative of the occupational job duty categories that list major activities and tasks performed by an entry level death investigator. It contains a resource list and criteria statements that indicate the minimum standards of performance accepted as evidence of competence in completion of the task by participants in the field of infant death investigation. This performance-based curriculum guide helps the instructor develop a teaching style where students learn by doing. It is based on task analysis, and it reflects the skills, knowledge, and attitudes that employers expect incumbent investigators to posses.

This guide is intended to be used to provide relevant training or retraining for employment in the rapidly expanding field of medicolegal death investigation.

Training Manual: Sudden Unexplained Infant Death Investigation

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Sudden Unexplained Infant Death Investigation The Sudden Unexplained Infant Death Investigation was written to assist those who investigate infant deaths, and these materials were used at the SUIDI National Training Academies. At the conclusion of each section, discussion and sample questions are provided to test readers in their knowledge of the content. The text is divided into the following four sections:

Section One: Infant Death Investigation Foundation Skills

This section consists of three knowledge-building chapters written specifically to expose the student to essential information needed to successfully perform an infant death investigation. Topics include— identifying different types of sudden unexplained infant deaths, understanding infant growth and development , and learning the psychology of interviewing. The material covered is supplemented with charts, graphs, and illustrations. These materials are referenced throughout the remaining chapters of the training text.

Section Two: Case Interviews

This section consists of two chapters devoted to witness interviewing. The first chapter covers the types of interviews that should be conducted with witnesses at the scene or with other individuals in contact with the decedent. The second chapter focuses on information that should be collected by other agency professionals at the various scenes. The success of each interview depends on the investigator’s ability to know who to interview, what to ask, and how to ask the questions.

Section Three: Infant Scene Investigation

This section consists of two chapters. The first addresses how to conduct a scene investigation and the second how to conduct a doll reenactment.

Section Four: Pre-Autopsy and Post-Autopsy Reporting

This section consists of two chapters that provide an overview of infant pre-autopsy and post-autopsy reporting. The SUID “Top 25” criteria are covered to teach the investigator the data deemed critical to collect for forensic pathologists to conduct their pre-autopsy review. The narrative report, along with its content and formatting, is dissected and explained so investigators can describe important aspects of the scene in a clear, concise manner.

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Guidelines: Sudden Unexplained Infant Death Investigation

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The Guidelines for the Scene Investigator is a 48-page informational handbook that guides investigators in conducting an infant death investigation using recommended practices. The handbook also demonstrates how to comprehensively report scene investigation data to the pathologist conducting the autopsy and determining the cause and manner of death. It is not intended to take the place of existing laws or regulations.

The Guidelines for the Scene Investigator have been endorsed by the National Sheriff’s Association, the National Association of Medical Examiners, the International Coroners and Medical Examiners Association, and the American Board of Medicolegal Death Investigators.

The handbook consists of the following six sections

  • Section A: Investigative Tools and Equipment.
  • Section B: Arriving at the Scene.
  • Section C: Documenting and Evaluating the Scene.
  • Section D: Documenting and Evaluating the Body.
  • Section E: Establishing Infant Profile Information.
  • Section F: Completing the Scene Investigation.

The handbook also includes the “Top 25" items forensic pathologist consider critical to determining the cause and manner of death, before the forensic autopsy is performed.

Supplemental Forms

For an explanation of these forms, see the SUIDI Reporting Form Section.

List of Forms
Body Diagram
EMS Interview
Hospital Interview
Immunization Record
Infant Exposure History
Informant Contact
Law Enforcement Interview
Materials Collection Log
Nonprofessional Responder Interview
Parental Information
Primary Residence Investigation
Scene Diagram

Brochure: Sudden Unexpected Infant Death Investigations

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