"The Ronan Report" provides insight about the activities at the Western Maryland Health System in Cumberland, Maryland, and about the changes taking place in healthcare today from a CEO's perspective.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS)

The very good news is that SIDS cases in the US have declined by 50 % since 1990.  Public health officials are now trying to figure out why.  A new database has been created to capture data and monitor trends.  What has truly helped has been a great deal of education of parents, especially new parents, on how to put an infant to sleep (on their backs not stomachs), place the baby on a firm surface, keep soft objects and loose bedding out of the crib and very importantly, avoid co-sleeping.  

There is another category of Sudden Unexplained Infant Death (SUID) when an infant dies due to unexplained circumstances.  Areas routinely considered are poisoning, metabolic disorders, neglect and ultimately, homicide.  However, another area to consider is smoking while pregnant and second-hand smoke while pregnant and after delivery.  There is a direct correlation between smoking and SUID and more needs to be done in educating new moms and families in this area.  In Allegany County, like our surrounding counties in WV, we have a very high rate of pregnant women who smoke during pregnancy.  Our Community Health Coalition will be addressing this issue with our local OBs and our peri-natal staff.  Drawing a direct correlation between SUID and smoking may help in saving even more lives.  Saving the lives of infants at the expense of an unhealthy lifestyle makes us two for two.

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