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SIDS report highlights importance of midwives

20 January, 2015

SIDS report highlights importance of midwives

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The first collaborative report on sudden unexpected death in infancy (SIDS) in Wales has highlighted the important role of midwives in its prevention. 

The review by Child Death Review Programme and the All Wales Perinatal Survey was launched in January 2014 to look at unexplained deaths in infancy that happened in 2010-12.

It looked at 45 deaths in that time and described the demographics of the infants involved and highlighted the level of modifiable risk factors that may have contributed to the deaths.

The review has made nine recommendations including one that Welsh government, Public Health Wales and other healthcare providers should continue the universal provision of advice to families in which it recognised midwives as particularly important.

It also called for frontline healthcare professionals to receive regular training on SIDS to include research on the interaction between the incidence of death and co-sleeping, smoking, low birth weight and alcohol consumption.  

Other recommendations related to smoking cessation services, health promotion messages and social housing.

Dr Mair Parry, officer for Wales for the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health said training was needed to ensure that health professionals can spot those most at risk.

She said that neonatal deaths were higher in Wales than the rest of the UK.

‘It’s now crucial that we act on these recommendations and develop the mechanisms to reach those families most at risk so we can begin to bring these rates down,’ said Dr Parry.

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