2013 Florida Statutes
Sudden Unexpected Infant Death.
Sudden Unexpected Infant Death.
383.3362 Sudden Unexpected Infant Death.—
(1) FINDINGS AND INTENT.—The Legislature recognizes that more than 4,500 infants in the United States die suddenly and unexpectedly of no immediate or obvious cause. According to statistics from the Department of Health, more than 200 infants in this state experienced Sudden Unexpected Infant Death in 2010. The Legislature further recognizes that first responders to emergency calls relating to such a death need access to special training to better enable them to recognize that such deaths may result from natural and accidental causes or may be caused by criminal acts and to appropriately interact with the deceased infant’s parents or caretakers. At the same time, the Legislature, recognizing that the primary focus of first responders is to carry out their assigned duties, intends to increase awareness of the possible causes of Sudden Unexpected Infant Death, but in no way expand or take away from their duties. Further, the Legislature recognizes the importance of a multidisciplinary investigation and standardized investigative protocols in cases of Sudden Unexpected Infant Death. Finally, the Legislature finds that it is desirable to analyze existing data and conduct further research on the possible causes of Sudden Unexpected Infant Death and on how to reduce its incidence.
(2) DEFINITION.—As used in this section, the term “Sudden Unexpected Infant Death,” or “SUID,” means the sudden unexpected death of an infant under 1 year of age while in apparent good health whose death may have been a result of natural or unnatural causes.
(a) The Legislature finds that an emergency medical technician, a paramedic, a firefighter, or a law enforcement officer is likely to be the first responder to a request for assistance which is made immediately after the sudden unexpected death of an infant. The Legislature further finds that these first responders should be trained in appropriate responses to sudden infant death.
(b) The basic training programs required for certification as an emergency medical technician, a paramedic, a firefighter, or a law enforcement officer as defined in s. 943.10, other than a correctional officer or a correctional probation officer, must include curriculum that contains instruction on SUID.
(c) The Department of Health, in consultation with the Emergency Medical Services Advisory Council, the Firefighters Employment, Standards, and Training Council, the child protection teams established in the Division of Children’s Medical Services, and the Criminal Justice Standards and Training Commission, shall adopt and modify when necessary, by rule, curriculum that is as part of the Centers for Disease Control SUID Initiative which must be followed by law enforcement agencies in investigating cases involving sudden deaths of infants, and training in responding appropriately to the parents or caretakers who have requested assistance.
(a) The death of any infant younger than 1 year of age who dies suddenly and unexpectedly while in apparent good health falls under the jurisdiction of the medical examiner as provided in s. 406.11. The autopsy must be performed within 24 hours after the death, or as soon thereafter as is feasible.
(b) The Medical Examiners Commission shall provide for the development and implementation of a protocol for the forensic investigation of SUID. The protocol may include requirements and standards for scene investigations, requirements for specific data, criteria for any specific tissue sampling, and any other requirements that are deemed necessary.
(c) A medical examiner is not liable for damages in a civil action for any act or omission done in compliance with this subsection.
(5) DEPARTMENT DUTIES RELATING TO SUDDEN UNEXPECTED INFANT DEATH (SUID).—The Department of Health, in consultation with the child protection teams established in the Division of Children’s Medical Services, shall:
(a) Collaborate with other agencies in the development and presentation of the SUID training programs for first responders, including those for emergency medical technicians and paramedics, firefighters, and law enforcement officers.
(b) Maintain a database of statistics on reported SUID deaths and analyze the data as funds allow.
(c) Serve as liaison and closely coordinate activities with the Florida SIDS Alliance.
(d) Maintain a library reference list and materials about SUID for public dissemination.
(e) Provide professional support to field staff.
(f) Coordinate the activities of and promote a link between the fetal and infant mortality review committees of the local healthy start coalitions, the Florida SIDS Alliance, and other related support groups.
History.—s. 1, ch. 93-182; s. 673, ch. 95-148; s. 65, ch. 97-101; s. 30, ch. 97-237; s. 18, ch. 2002-404; s. 3, ch. 2013-62.