Hong Kong Med J 2006;12(Suppl 3):S37-40
A case-control study of unexpected infant death in Hong Kong
EAS Nelson, KF To, D Wong, CB Chow, JA Dickinson, Y Ou, LM Yu, KC Choi, E Wong, NLS Tang, NM Hjelm, L Chen
Department of Paediatrics, The Chinese University of Hong Kong
1. The rate of sudden infant death syndrome in Hong Kong has fallen from 0.29/1000 in 1987 to ≤0.16/1000 during 1999-2002.
2. Autopsies of unexpected infant deaths by a paediatric pathologist specialising in sudden infant death syndrome increases the likelihood of identifying rare and unusual metabolic diseases. Although there is a global trend toward using the terms “unascertained” or “unknown” rather than “sudden infant death syndrome”, the reasons for doing this should be carefully considered in terms of the impact on the family and in terms of monitoring the rate of these deaths.
3. Hong Kong should consider introducing a child mortality review system incorporating those used in Australia and the United Kingdom. Such a system should monitor all child deaths in a systematic fashion and provide feedback to the public, health authorities, and health professionals.