LAFAYETTE, La. – The Louisiana Department of Health & Hospitals Bureau of Family Health designated Women’s & Children’s Hospital as a “Safe Sleep Champion” for its efforts to help reduce incidences of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome.
Christine Cornell, RN, Maternal Child Health Coordinator with the Bureau of Family Health for Region IV, presented the award to Women’s & Children’s Hospital administrators and staff during a ceremony Tuesday at the hospital.
The “Safe Sleep Champion” designation is part of the national Collaborative Improvement and Innovation Network (COIN) initiative, Cornell explained. COIN facilitates collaborative learning across 13 states to help expand training on quality improvement and related principles and practices relative to infant mortality.
Women’s & Children’s is among the first Louisiana birthing facilities to receive the new designation.
“This is truly a great honor for the hospital and the families we serve,” said Leona Boullion, Chief Operating Officer with Women’s & Children’s Hospital. “This award validates Women’s & Children’s efforts to set the pace for area hospitals in terms of safety, quality and compassionate care.”
Women’s & Children’s Hospital provides ongoing SIDS prevention education for its nurses, Boullion explained. In addition, nurses teach SIDS prevention techniques to parents during the initial visit with their newborn after the child is born. The education includes handouts parents may take home for future reference.
An estimated 80 babies die each year in Louisiana from Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS), a broad medical term for sudden, unexplained deaths of infants before their first birthday. The American Academy of Pediatrics in 2011 established new recommendations for educating new mothers and families about SIDS.
SIDS occurs when otherwise healthy babies die in their sleep for no apparent reason, according to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services National Institute of Child Health and Human Development. These deaths are often related to an unsafe sleep environment. All new mothers and their families need to understand the importance of placing infants in a safe sleeping environment to reduce the risk of SIDS/SUIDS.
The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recommends several actions related to creating a safe sleep environment for infants. AAP’s Recommendations include placing the baby on his/her back to sleep for every sleep, using a firm sleep surface, sharing the room but not the bed and keeping soft/loose objects out of the crib.
The supine sleep position (sleeping on back/face-up) is recommended for infants to reduce the risk of SIDS; side sleeping is not safe and is not advised. Supervised, awake tummy time on a daily basis can promote motor development and minimize the risk of a flat spot developing on the back of the head.
Contact Trevis R. Badeaux, Marketing & Public Relations Coordinator, at 337-521-9172 or Trevis.Badeaux@hcahealthcare.com for more information.