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Infanticides : underestimated figures

02 Dec 2013 | By INSERM (Newsroom) | France

crédit photo : ©Fotolia

“The number of infanticides in official statistics is underestimated” says Anne Tursz, Inserm research director, specialist in the mistreatment of children and author of an investigation on suspicious infant deaths.

For five years, in all the départements of three French regions, she recorded all deaths that had been referred to the State Prosecutor and all babies under one year who had been admitted to hospital for investigations. Comparing the figures with the official mortality statistics, the paediatrician emphasised the considerable difference between them. “In the period considered, if we extrapolate to the whole of France, the official statistics recorded a yearly average of 17 homicides of babies under one. The figures I found personally showed 255.

Many cases are not reported, many cases are not sufficiently investigated scientifically. There are diagnostic errors, they are classified as accidental deaths, or sudden infant death syndrome.”

For further information, please contact Anne Tursz, paediatrician and Inserm research director.

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Anne Tursz Pédiatre, épidémiologiste Directrice de recherche à l’Inserm rf.srnc.fjv@zsrut

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