Florida Senate - 2013                                      SB 56
       By Senator Hays
       11-00035A-13                                            201356__
    1                        A bill to be entitled                      
    2         An act relating to infant death; amending s. 383.3362,
    3         F.S.; revising legislative findings and intent with
    4         respect to the sudden unexpected death of an infant
    5         under a specified age; defining the term “sudden
    6         unexpected infant death”; revising provisions relating
    7         to training requirements for first responders;
    8         revising requirements relating to autopsies performed
    9         by medical examiners; requiring the Medical Examiners
   10         Commission to provide for the development and
   11         implementation of a protocol for the medicolegal
   12         investigation of sudden unexpected infant deaths;
   13         deleting references to the SIDS hotline and local SIDS
   14         alliances; providing an effective date.
   16  Be It Enacted by the Legislature of the State of Florida:
   18         Section 1. Section 383.3362, Florida Statutes, is amended
   19  to read:
   20         383.3362 Sudden unexpected infant death Syndrome.—
   21         (1) FINDINGS AND INTENT.—The Legislature recognizes that
   22  more than 4,500 infants in the United States die suddenly and
   23  unexpectedly of no immediate or obvious cause. According to
   24  statistics from the Department of Health, more than 200 infants
   25  in this state experienced sudden unexpected infant death in 2010
   26  sudden Infant death Syndrome, or SIDS, is a leading cause of
   27  death among children under the age of 1 year, both nationally
   28  and in this state. The Legislature further recognizes that first
   29  responders to emergency calls relating to such a death need
   30  access to special training to better enable them to recognize
   31  that such deaths may result from natural and accidental causes
   32  or may be caused distinguish SIDS from death caused by criminal
   33  acts and to appropriately interact with the deceased infant’s
   34  parents or caretakers. At the same time, the Legislature,
   35  recognizing that the primary focus of first responders is to
   36  carry out their assigned duties, intends to increase the
   37  awareness of the possible causes of sudden unexpected infant
   38  deaths SIDS by first responders, but in no way expand or take
   39  away from their duties. Further, the Legislature recognizes the
   40  importance of a multidisciplinary investigation and standardized
   41  investigative protocols in cases of sudden unexpected infant
   42  standard protocol for review of SIDS deaths by medical examiners
   43  and the importance of appropriate followup in cases of certified
   44  or suspected SIDS deaths. Finally, the Legislature finds that it
   45  is desirable to analyze existing data, and to conduct further
   46  research on, the possible causes of sudden unexpected infant
   47  death SIDS and on how to reduce its incidence lower the number
   48  of sudden infant deaths.
   49         (2) DEFINITION.—As used in this section, the term “sudden
   50  unexpected infant death Syndrome,” or “SUID,” “SIDS,” means the
   51  sudden unexpected death of an infant under 1 year of age while
   52  in apparent good health whose death may have been a result of
   53  natural or unnatural causes which remains unexplained after a
   54  complete autopsy, death-scene investigation, and review of the
   55  case history. The term includes only those deaths for which,
   56  currently, there is no known cause or cure.
   57         (3) TRAINING.—
   58         (a) The Legislature finds that an emergency medical
   59  technician, a paramedic, a firefighter, or a law enforcement
   60  officer is likely to be the first responder to a request for
   61  assistance which is made immediately after the sudden unexpected
   62  death of an infant. The Legislature further finds that these
   63  first responders should be trained in appropriate responses to
   64  sudden infant death.
   65         (b) After January 1, 1995, The basic training programs
   66  required for certification as an emergency medical technician, a
   67  paramedic, a firefighter, or a law enforcement officer as
   68  defined in s. 943.10, other than a correctional officer or a
   69  correctional probation officer, must include curriculum that
   70  contains instruction on SUID Sudden Infant Death Syndrome.
   71         (c) The Department of Health, in consultation with the
   72  Emergency Medical Services Advisory Council, the Firefighters
   73  Employment, Standards, and Training Council, and the Criminal
   74  Justice Standards and Training Commission, shall develop and
   75  adopt, by rule, curriculum that, at a minimum, includes training
   76  in the nature of SUID SIDS, standard procedures to be followed
   77  by law enforcement agencies in investigating cases involving
   78  sudden deaths of infants, and training in responding
   79  appropriately to the parents or caretakers who have requested
   80  assistance.
   81         (4) AUTOPSIES.—
   82         (a) The death of any infant younger than 1 year of age who
   83  dies suddenly and unexpectedly while in apparent good health
   84  falls under the jurisdiction of the medical examiner as provided
   85  in s. 406.11. The medical examiner must perform an autopsy upon
   86  any infant under the age of 1 year who is suspected to have died
   87  of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome. The autopsy must be performed
   88  within 24 hours after the death, or as soon thereafter as is
   89  feasible. When the medical examiner’s findings are consistent
   90  with the definition of sudden infant death syndrome in
   91  subsection (2), the medical examiner must state on the death
   92  certificate that sudden infant death syndrome was the cause of
   93  death.
   94         (b) The Medical Examiners Commission shall provide for the
   95  development and implementation of develop and implement a
   96  protocol for the medicolegal investigation of SUID dealing with
   97  suspected sudden infant death syndrome. The protocol must be
   98  followed by all medical examiners when conducting the autopsies
   99  required under this subsection. The protocol may include
  100  requirements and standards for scene investigations,
  101  requirements for specific data, criteria for any specific tissue
  102  sampling, and any other requirements that are deemed
  103  ascertaining cause of death based on the autopsy, criteria for
  104  any specific tissue sampling, and any other requirements that
  105  the commission considers necessary.
  106         (c) A medical examiner is not liable for damages in a civil
  107  action for any act or omission done in compliance with this
  108  subsection.
  109         (d) An autopsy must be performed under the authority of a
  110  medical examiner under s. 406.11.
  112  DEATH (SUID) SYNDROME (SIDS).—The Department of Health shall:
  113         (a) Collaborate with other agencies in the development and
  114  presentation of the SUID Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS)
  115  training programs for first responders, including those for
  116  emergency medical technicians and paramedics, firefighters, and
  117  law enforcement officers.
  118         (b) Maintain a database of statistics on reported SUID SIDS
  119  deaths, and analyze the data as funds allow.
  120         (c) Serve as liaison and closely coordinate activities with
  121  the Florida SIDS Alliance, including the services related to the
  122  SIDS hotline.
  123         (d) Maintain a library reference list and materials about
  124  SUID SIDS for public dissemination.
  125         (e) Provide professional support to field staff.
  126         (f) Coordinate the activities of and promote a link between
  127  the fetal and infant mortality review committees of the local
  128  healthy start coalitions, the local SIDS alliance, and other
  129  related support groups.
  130         Section 2. This act shall take effect July 1, 2013.