New Research On Sudden Unexpected Deaths Of Newborns

< BACK TO HEALTH starstarstarstarstar   Community - Health Press Release
7th October 2010, 02:28pm - Views: 1040

Misc Miscellaneous NSW Commission For Children & Young People 1 image




Level 2, 407 Elizabeth Street Surry Hills NSW 2010

Tel: 02 9286 7276  Fax 02 9286 7267 

Email:  Web:


7th October 2010

New research on sudden unexpected deaths of newborns

New research released by the NSW Child Death Review Team has found known risk

factors in 90% of the sudden unexpected death of an infant (SUDI) that occurred in the

neonatal period (the first 28 days after birth).

The Team’s report A preliminary investigation of neonatal SUDI in NSW 1996-2008:

opportunities for prevention examines 123 infants who died suddenly and unexpectedly

between 1996-2008. The research found at least one SUDI risk factor in the baby’s

sleeping environment for the neonatal age group:

57% were placed for sleep in a position other than on their back;

73% had smoking evident in their household or during pregnancy;

60% were in unsafe sleep environments (such as co-sleeping), with 36% of these

infants also being exposed to tobacco smoke;

The report also found that 25 (20.3%) of the 123 neonate deaths occurred in a hospital,

with 15 of the 25 infants being in an unsafe sleep position.

“While a lot of work has been done in this area this report shows we still have a way to

go to help parents to remember the safe sleeping messages,” said Ms Megan Mitchell,

the NSW Commissioner for Children and Young People and Team Convenor. 

“Both parents and health professionals need to be reminded about the very clear

messages about environmental risks to very young babies of unsafe sleeping practices.

For instance, parents need to be reminded of organising the feeding and settling their

young babies in ways that will prevent them from sleeping with their baby.

“Sharing a bed their young baby can have tragic consequences because tired parents

can fall asleep when they hadn’t intended to. 

“We need to remind parents to share a room, not a bed, to place infants for sleep in

their back and to remind adults of the need to guard against a baby’s exposure to

tobacco smoke.”

The Team has made three recommendations aimed at focusing prevention efforts on

neonatal infants and strengthening the response to sudden unexpected deaths in


A preliminary investigation of neonatal SUDI in NSW 1996-2008: opportunities for

Media contact:  

Michelle Neathercote

02 9286 7282 or 0413 456 080

news articles logo NEWS ARTICLES
Contact News Articles |Remove this article