Fatality Review Teams and Committees

Child Fatality Review Committee


This group is comprised of representatives from the Medical Examiner’s Office, Public Health Nursing, the clinical medical community including the regional Children’s Hospital, law enforcement, District Attorney, Child Welfare Services, emergency medical personnel, Probation, County Counsel, and the local Child Abuse Prevention Committee. The committee meets monthly to review all sudden unexpected deaths of children that fall under the jurisdiction of the Medical Examiner to identify factors and circumstances contributing to child deaths. The goal is to prevent future occurrences, as well as to improve coordination and effectiveness of child protection, investigation and legal processes. The San Diego Child Fatality Review Committee was established in 1982 and was only the second child fatality committee established in the country. During its first 15 years, it reviewed the deaths of children newborn through age 6, but that was expanded to children through age 12 in 1998 and through age 17 in July 2005. In 2011 and 2012 the committee reviewed a total of 164 child deaths. 91 deaths were reviewed in 2013.


Domestic Violence Fatality Review Team


The County of San Diego Board of Supervisors established the Domestic Violence Fatality Review Team (DVFRT) in 1996. The DVFRT is a confidential multidisciplinary team that conducts in-depth retrospective case reviews of intimate partner-related fatalities that have occurred in San Diego County. The team is made up of dedicated representatives from over thirty public and non-profit organizations such as the Medical Examiner, the District Attorney’s Office, law enforcement, Health and Human Services Agency, domestic violence service agencies, and local healthcare settings. This October will mark the 18th year the team has been convening and 192 deaths have been reviewed to date.

The DVFRT seeks to identify system-based opportunities for improvements in violence prevention and intervention policies, procedures, and coordinated strategies, make recommendations for system change and raise public awareness about intimate partner violence. In addition to conducting case reviews, the DVFRT also tracks all of the intimate partner violence-related deaths (homicides and suicides) for that occur in San Diego County. The Medical Examiner continues to be a key partner is this process, as the DVFRT is dependent upon representatives from the Medical Examiner, law enforcement, and the District Attorney's Office to identify and track these cases to ensure accurate reporting.

For more information: http://www.sdcda.org/helping/domestic-violence-fatality-review-team.html


Elder and Dependent Adult Death Review Team


TThe Elder and Dependent Adult Death Review Team is a County-wide group with a core membership from the District Attorney's Office, Medical Examiner's Office, San Diego Sheriff's Office, and Department of Aging and Independence Services. Its task is to review elder and dependent adult deaths in San Diego County with the goal of reducing the number of deaths related to physical abuse, neglect, or self-neglect. The County’s Elder Death Review Team was established in 2003 and expanded to include dependent adults in 2011. The San Diego County team was one of the first elder death review teams in the country and has been a model for other jurisdictions.

The team promotes policy changes in government and private agencies, identifies gaps and barriers to service for victims prior to death, increases public awareness, and has a positive impact on the safety and health of San Diego County residents. The team also participates in a number of other projects, such as an annual review of elder suicides, daily, real-time cross-reference efforts between the Medical Examiner and Adult Protective Services databases, and research studies.


Other Participation


Our office also participates in several local Trauma meetings as well as a County wide trauma monitoring system.


Rady Children's Hospital Trauma Mortality and Morbidity (M&M) Conference

Sharp Memorial Hospital Trauma M&M Conference

MAC (Medical Audit Committee) meeting of Trauma Centers (County Wide)


We also participate in the San Diego County Methamphetamine Strike Force (http://www.no2meth.org/), the Prescription Drug Task Force (http://sandiegorxabusetaskforce.org/), and sit on the California SIDS Advisory Council.