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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 222171 Find in a Library
Title: Sudden Death in Toddlers Caused by Influenza B Infection: A Report of Two Cases and a Review of the Literature
Journal: Journal of Forensic Sciences  Volume:53  Issue:1  Dated:January 2008  Pages:213-215
Author(s): Kristen K. Landi M.D.; Andrea T. Coleman M.D.
Date Published: January 2008
Page Count: 3
Type: Case Study
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: In illustrating the usefulness of viral testing, especially for influenza, in the medical legal autopsy of children even when the classic respiratory symptoms of flu are lacking, this paper presents two cases of sudden fatalities from influenza B infection in a 4-year-old girl and a 2-year-old boy.
Abstract: These two cases highlight the need for specialized testing in pediatric autopsy cases, specifically viral testing, especially for influenza. These two atypical cases of influenza B infection resulting in rapidly fatal outcomes would not have been suspected based on the presenting symptoms. Cases of sudden death among children who show no symptoms of influenza usually do not receive viral testing at autopsy. Consequently, the cause of death remains elusive. This paper recommends screening for viruses in cases of sudden death among infants and children, in addition to the more standard specialized testing such as bacterial cultures. In one case, a 4-year-old White girl with normal birth history and development was in good health until 2 days before her death, when she developed abdominal pain and intermittent vomiting, which was described by her mother as nonbloody mucous. These symptoms continued, and her father found her dead in her bed the morning of the third day of these symptoms. In the second case, a healthy 2-year-old boy with a normal birth history and development woke from an early-evening nap and declined to eat dinner, complaining of a stomach ache, but there was no vomiting or diarrhea. Some 2 hours later, his father found him unresponsive in bed. CPR was initiated and EMS was called. For each of these cases, a detailed description of the autopsy is provided. 1 figure and 14 references
Main Term(s): Criminology
Index Term(s): Autopsy; Communicable diseases; Death investigations; Diseases; Infant (0-4); Investigative techniques
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