FIMR Report: Unsafe sleep growing concern for infant deaths

A growing number of sleep-related deaths has led to new recommendations from the NEFL Fetal & Infant Mortality Review to address these largely preventable deaths. FIMR also recommended educating the community on the benefits of home visiting programs as part of the October 20th Coalition community meeting, which looked at the status of maternal child health and the annual FIMR results and recommendations.

Click here for the full presentation on the FIMR results. Also released was the 2016-17 Project IMPACT report, which looks at the status of maternal and child health in Baker, Clay, Duval, Nassau and St. Johns counties.

FIMR’s Case Review Team (CRT) reviewed 28 cases in 2016-17 utilizing an approach developed by the American College of Obstetrics and Gynecology (ACOG) that pulls information from birth, death, medical, hospital and autopsy records and maternal interviews. The Community Action Team (CAT) then takes the CRT’s recommendations and implements them in the community. The CAT will be expanding in 2018 to address the root causes of health disparities and social factors that impact health.

There were 30 Sudden Unexpected Infant Deaths (SUIDs) in 2016, which are due to suffocation or strangulation in bed; an unknown cause because a thorough investigation was not conducted; or Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS), when there is still an unknown cause after a thorough investigation.

Other areas of concern were the increase in babies born drug-exposed; late and inconsistent prenatal care; a mother’s health prior to pregnancy; and the disparities by race — black babies continue to be 2.5 times more likely to die than white babies.

SUID breakdown

Based on the infant mortality statistics and the FIMR cases, the Case Review Team developed the following recommendations:

  • The prenatal and infant Healthy Start screen is a conduit to an enormity of services that can ultimately impact birth outcomes. Anyone who interacts with a pregnant woman or infant can inform them about the screen or referral. We plan to train hospital staff, including case managers, social workers, nurses and birth recorders about the benefits of Healthy Start and other home visiting services.
  • Create a curriculum around safe sleep, water safety and selecting an appropriate caregiver for a child. These were selected in collaboration with the members of FIMR and Child Death Review as persistent issues in child death. The proposed curriculum will include a track for professionals and community agencies and a track for parents/caregivers.
  • Continue with SUIDs prevention, starting with a simple grassroots campaigns to show the number of deaths in previously healthy infants in our area.