Online Program

Beyond SIDS: Shifting to injury prevention models to address sleep-related infant death

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Heidi Hilliard, MPH, CDR/FIMR/SUID-CR, Michigan Public Health Institute, Okemos, MI
During the past several decades, the diagnosis of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS) was often made when an infant died suddenly and unexpectedly in his or her sleep, and no medical cause for the death could be identified. In the past 10 years, there have been efforts to improve the quality of death scene investigations in these types of cases. As a result, better information is now available on the circumstances surrounding these deaths.

The use of the term “SIDS” has decreased in recent years in Michigan and elsewhere. Due to improved investigations, more sleep-related infant deaths are being attributed to positional asphyxia (suffocation). The historical prominence of the term “SIDS,” led many to believe it was a mysterious and unpreventable type of infant death. Therefore, the public may be confused about what really causes these deaths and the importance of following infant safe sleep guidelines in order to prevent them.

In locations where the most thorough and vigorous scene investigations and caregiver interviews are conducted, they discover that there are many ways that babies' airways can become blocked during sleep. Linking the safe sleep guidelines as delineated by the American Academy of Pediatrics to the specific tragic situations they were developed to prevent may give the public a better understanding of why safe infant sleep is so important. Author will present emerging examples of local, state, national and international examples of infant safe sleep initiatives that seek to prevent sleep-related infant death using injury prevention models.

Learning Areas:

Administer health education strategies, interventions and programs
Implementation of health education strategies, interventions and programs
Other professions or practice related to public health
Planning of health education strategies, interventions, and programs
Systems thinking models (conceptual and theoretical models), applications related to public health

Learning Objectives:
Describe the evolving diagnostic shift regarding sleep-related infant deaths. Discuss the advantages of using injury prevention models to reduce the incidence of this type of death. Identify specific injury prevention programming designed to reduce sleep-related infant deaths.

Keyword(s): Infant Mortality, Injury Prevention

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I have worked on the Michigan Child Death Review project for the past 16 years. I now coordinate that state program, as well as our Fetal and Infant Mortality Review and the CDC's Sudden Unexpected Infant Death Case Registry grant. I have a great amount of experience and first-hand knowledge regarding the subject matter and have spoken on it widely. Michigan's fatality review processes are viewed as national models.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.