Sudden and Unexpected Deaths in Infancy and Childhood (NCMD thematic report)

Reports | Published: 08 Dec 2022

This report from the National Child Mortality Database (NCMD) covers the two-year period from 2019 to 2021, and is unique in two ways. It is the first national report to have investigated all unexpected deaths of infants and children – not just those that remained unexplained. It is also the first national review of the “multi-agency investigation process” into unexpected deaths.

The report found that, of all infant and child deaths occurring between April 2019 and March 2021 in England, 30% occurred suddenly and unexpectedly, and of these 64% had no immediately apparent cause. Other key findings relating to sudden and unexpected infant deaths (under 1 year) include:

  • 70% were aged between 28 and 364 days, and 57% were male
  • Infant death rates were higher in urban areas and the most deprived neighbourhoods
  • For sudden and unexpected infant deaths that occurred during 2020 and had been fully reviewed, 52% were classified as unexplained (ie Sudden Infant Death Syndrome) and 48% went on to be explained by other causes eg metabolic or cardiac conditions.

Read the full report: You can see all key findings and read the report in full by clicking on the link below.

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Sudden and Unexpected Deaths in Infancy and Childhood (NCMD thematic report)