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Middlesex D.A. Ryan to Provide Information to Families Following Infant Deaths

Jun 19, 2019 05:27PM

The mission is to offer integrated, meaningful and professional resources to families and their communities to help and support them after an unexpected death during pregnancy, infancy or early childhood.

WOBURN - Middlesex District Attorney Marian Ryan has announced that Massachusetts State Police Detectives assigned to the Middlesex District Attorney’s Office will now provide families who suffer the unexpected death of a child with informational material from The Massachusetts Center for Unexpected Infant and Child Death. The Center’s mission is to offer integrated, meaningful and professional resources to families and their communities to help and support them after an unexpected death during pregnancy, infancy or early childhood. The change follows yesterday’s legislative hearing on “An Act relative to supporting families dealing with infant death syndrome” where families who lost children to SIDS shared their personal stories and the difficulties they had connecting with resources.
 
“The loss of a child is the most devastating tragedy a family can endure. We know that the trauma of this loss has immediate impacts on those who loved and cared for that child,” said District Attorney Ryan. “Yesterday’s hearing exposed a gap in services that our office has the capability to address. I applaud the legislature's efforts to codify the practice of providing these resources, but given the immediate need to address this problem we are acting now.”
 
The new policy implemented yesterday was put into practice last night when the Middlesex District Attorney’s Office responded to the death of a five-month-old child who was found unresponsive at a licensed daycare facility on Falmouth Road in Waltham. Staff had immediately administered CPR and the infant was transported to an area hospital where he was pronounced dead.
 
“While the investigation into this matter is still ongoing, and a ruling on the cause of death has not been made, this demonstrates how quickly a change can have an impact.”
 
This incident is being investigated by Waltham Police and Massachusetts State Police assigned to the Middlesex District Attorney’s Office and no foul play is suspected.
 
Middlesex District Attorney Marian Ryan has prioritized providing trauma-sensitive services since 2016 when she launched Project CARE a partnership with the Middlesex District Attorney’s Office, first responders and mental health clinicians.
 
When first responders, including State Police assigned to the District Attorney’s Office, respond to a fatal or near-fatal overdose in which a child is present, or where the individual is known to have a child, families are provided with information to connect them to appropriate mental health resources.
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