Data bank

The italian Law n.31, “Regulations for Diagnostic Post Mortem Investigation in victims of the Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS) and Unexpected Fetal Death” provides in Article 1, paragraph 1, that “Infants that die suddenly within one year of life without any apparent cause, and fetuses that die after the twenty-fifth week of gestation without any apparent cause, must be rapidly submitted, with the consent of both parents, to diagnostic post mortem investigation to be performed in authorized centers, according to the criteria specified in article 2…”..

Article 2, in paragraph 2, reports “the Italian regions are called upon to individuate in their relative territory, the scientific centers, of University or Hospital appurtenance, that will take on the function of reference centers for the post mortem investigation of infants that die suddenly without any apparent cause within one year of life and of fetuses that die after the twenty-fifth week of gestation, without any apparent cause”.

Article 3, paragraph 1, states: “The results of the post mortem investigation performed as in article 1 will be communicated by the authorized centers to the of the Institute of Pathological Anatomy, First Chair, University of Milan (replaced in 2009 with Decree of the Ministry of Health by the "Lino Rossi" Research Center, that, while fully respecting the norms for the treatment of personal data, will set up a “Italian Data Bank”.

In this regard it is announced that, in collaboration with the Department of Informatics of the University of Milan, a web portal dedicated to the National Database was created.

In compliance with current Italian legislation on the processing of personal data, only the responsibles for the Regional Reference Centers and data-processing experts for uploading information, are authorized to access the database.

It will however be possible for external visitors, upon formal request to the Lino Rossi Research Center (, to access only the statistical information calculated on the basis of the data contained in the portal.

Only by analyzing and comparing all the data entered in the Data Bank relating to the unexpected cases of fetal and infant death occurring in the various Italian regions it will be possible to understand the causes of these adverse events and plan effective preventive actions accordingly.