SUDI (Sudden Unexpected Death in Infancy)

What we do

Whānau/families can never be prepared for the loss of a baby, but together we can make sure that fewer families have to face this. We provide an in-depth, nationwide SUDI service that gathers information regarding baby sleep practices, antenatal and postnatal health and the home environment on behalf of the Coroner.

Who we look after

Grieving whānau/families are gently invited to contribute valuable information that may help pathologists and the Coroner to identify why their baby died. Our specialist SUDI liaison team works within the guidelines of the Ministry of Justice and balances caring for families with the need to work well with other services and within their processes.

The SUDI Process

When an infant death case meets SUDI criteria, our SUDI team is notified, and we assign the case to a SUDI liaison.

The SUDI liaison contacts police to get permission to visit the whānau/family. Once they have spoken with police, they will contact the family and arrange a time to visit them.

The SUDI liaison will then visit the location where the baby died. They’ll look at the environment, and talk to caregivers about the sleep environment, any alcohol, tobacco or drug use in the house, the health of the baby and parents, and other valuable details.

If needed, the SUDI liaison will also connect the family with other specialist and support services.

About two weeks later, they will finalise the case and send a copy of the report to the designated Coroner’s office and a copy of the SUDI liaison report to the post mortem pathologist. The Ministry of Health is also sent a copy of each SUDI liaison report. By looking at the data from all cases, the Ministry of Health can analyse the trends and then develop relevant policies and prevention strategies. This contributes to future SUDI prevention and public education.