The National Child Death Review Case Reporting System is a standardized, web-based reporting tool and database used by state and local CDR teams to record, analyze and report on the case information and findings from their reviews. The reporting tool contains over 2,600 data items including information on the child, caregivers, supervisors, cause and manner of death, risk factors relevant to the death (e.g., whether the child was in proper restraints in the car, whether a pool had a fence, whether the home had smoke alarms, where a baby was sleeping, what factors precipitated a suicide or abuse fatality), and team recommendations for prevention, services, and improvements to agency systems. Forty-five states CDR programs are enrolled and using the system, and as of April 2017, there are more than 190,000 individual deaths entered into the System. The System is managed by the National Center for Fatality Review and Prevention (NCFRP) at the Michigan Public Health Institute. Participating states have agreements with the Institute that protect their data while permitting limited access to de-identified datasets.
NCFRP has developed policies and guidelines for access to the System’s data for use by researchers and government policy makers. NCFRP encourages researchers to apply to use the data to advance evidence-based studies in order to prevent future deaths. There are countless topics researchers could potentially investigate to enhance current knowledge about how to keep kids safe and alive. It is important to know, however, that there are limitations on the type of data that can be released and on the way the data can be analyzed and interpreted. For example, because the database includes only the deaths of children reviewed by CDR teams and not all child deaths, the data cannot be used for population studies. In spite of these limitations, the database is a rich source of comprehensive information on child deaths not available through other sources.
Applications are reviewed by a committee of experts with respect to the quality of the research questions, proposed methodology and consistency with the CDR mission. Only researchers affiliated with institutions with IRB capacity may apply. There may be a fee for obtaining a dataset, based on NCFRP staff time necessary to prepare the requested data file.
Data Dissemination documents:
Data Dissemination Application checklist (need not be submitted with Application)
The US National Child Death Review Case Reporting System, Inj Prev 2011 17: i34-i37. doi: 10.1136/ip.2010.031203. Article by Theresa M. Covington describing strengths and limitations of CDR-CRS Database