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COVID-19 and child death: How can you help?

**COVID-19: Urgent request re: child deaths**

The National Child Mortality Database (NCMD) is an NHS-funded project that gathers information on all children who die across England, with the aim of learning lessons from child deaths to save lives in the future. Never has this been more important than now…

How can you help?

The data that NCMD collects will be of enormous significance in the fight against COVID-19, if child deaths relating to the virus are reported as a matter of urgency. While NCMD needs to be notified of all child deaths as usual, they are asking that clinicians, CDOPs and others working in Child Death Review (CDR) pay particular attention to deaths potentially involving COVID-19, informing them within 48 hours of the following:

  • Children who die with symptoms of COVID-19, whether confirmed or suspected (please record as potential cause of death)
  • Those who die of any cause, but show signs of undiagnosed infection in the weeks leading up to death
  • Children known to have the virus but who might have died of something else
  • Any child who meets the criteria for a Joint Agency Response (JAR) where the cause of death is unknown, but infection is considered as a significant possibility and the child or other member(s) of the household had a fever or cough within the preceding 14 days
  • Babies who are born and then die where the mother was known or suspected to have had COVID-19
  • Child deaths where the COVID-19 pandemic might have contributed to the death (eg issues with access to services or staffing capacity, inflicted injury or child suicide).

In all cases, where infection is present, please request samples and subsequently notify NCMD of the results (including maternal infection).

What will happen to the data?

In this unprecedented situation, NCMD is uniquely placed to gather data quickly from the whole of England. They will monitor cases in real-time and collate the information before passing it on immediately to NHS England and Public Health England to inform national strategy in order to combat COVID-19. For further information, go to: www.ncmd.info/2020/03/20/covid19.

Finally, please share this message with colleagues and other organisations working in Child Death Review.

On behalf of NCMD, thank you for your continued support at this difficult time.

Regards,

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