S.1445: Stillbirth and SUID prevention, Education, and Awareness Act of 2009

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S.1445 is a bill that was introduced in the U. S. congress in 2009 to improve the health of children, reduce the occurrence of sudden unexpected infant death (SUID) and to enhance public health activities related to stillbirth.

According to CDC data, there are more than 26,000 stillbirths a year in the U. S. Compare that to deaths from AIDS — nearly 16,000 — and from SUID — 4500.

Stillbirth is a fetal death that occurs during pregnancy at 20 weeks or greater gestation. About 51% of stillbirths remain unexplained resulting in an unchanged rate of early stillbirth since 1990. The U.S. has the lowest stillbirth autopsy rate among developed countries which is a major hindrance in causal research.

SUID is the sudden death of an infant under 1 year of age that when first discovered did not have an obvious cause. There has been an increase in SUID rate based on CDC data. The back to sleep campaign brought down the rate by 50% in the 90s, but we have not had any improvement thereafter as shown in the graph (topmost line). This is due to unknown reason for 50% of these deaths partly due to poor autopsy rate of 50-70% and changing definitions.

Your support for this bill will train individuals for better child death review, standardize death review process, create national registry, provide funding based on state and regional need, advance research and thus pave the way to decrease a major cause of infant death. Please contact your legislator!

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4 Responses to “S.1445: Stillbirth and SUID prevention, Education, and Awareness Act of 2009”

  1. sbfphc Says:

    Interesting that not just domestic legislation can prevent stillbirth – our global health aid can help prevent malaria in pregnancy, which is another cause of stillbirth.

  2. hbbos Says:

    What is interesting is that we label unexplained infant deaths as such when then are well investigated. Stillbirths are often under investigated, and more than 50% are label as unexplained in most cases.
    Do you know if this bill includes any provision for funds for the investigation of stillbirths to better understand why they are happening?
    In Ontario, once a child is born – stillbirth or alive, it receives a health care, and thus any investigations into the cause of stillbirth would be covered by the provincial health plan. Is cost a limiting factor into the investigations of stillbirth?

  3. Agnes Says:

    This bill does provide funding: “The Secretary, acting through the Director, shall award grants to States to enable such States to improve the completion of comprehensive death scene investigations, to increase the rate at which comprehensive and standardized autopsies are performed for sudden unexpected infant death and sudden unexplained death in childhood, for the provision of training on death scene investigation and to build State capacity and implement State and local child death review programs and prevention strategies.”

  4. Death Cleaning Says:

    Crime Scene Cleanup WI…

    […]S.1445: Stillbirth and SUID prevention, Education, and Awareness Act of 2009 « SBFPHC Policy Advocacy[…]…

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