To Reduce Crib Deaths, Get Rid of Blankets, Pillows, Bumpers and Soft Objects

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:

Fern R. Hauck, MD, MSSpencer P. Bass, MD Twenty-First Century Professor of Family MedicineProfessor of Public Health SciencesDirector, International Family Medicine ClinicUniversity of Virginia Department of Family Medicine

Dr. Hauck

Fern R. Hauck, MD, MS
Spencer P. Bass, MD Twenty-First Century Professor of Family Medicine
Professor of Public Health Sciences
Director, International Family Medicine Clinic
University of Virginia Department of Family Medicine

MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study?

Response: Unintentional suffocation is the leading cause of injury deaths among infants under one year of age in the US. 82% of these deaths are attributed to accidental suffocation and strangulation in bed. The Sudden Unexpected Infant Death Case Registry was established by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in 2009 to collect data on sudden unexpected infant deaths (SUID) to better understand trends and characteristics associated with these deaths. Data from 10 states, which account for about one-third of all US SUID cases, are captured in the Registry.

The CDC developed the Case Registry classification system in 2014 to differentiate SUID cases into several groups; explained suffocations with unsafe sleep factors is one of those categories, and the subject of this study. We analyzed infant deaths (children under one year of age) that occurred from 2011-2014 among states participating in the registry at the time of the study (Arizona, Colorado, Georgia, Louisiana, Michigan, Minnesota, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, and Wisconsin). Among the 1812 cases in the Registry from 2011-2014, 250 (14%) were classified as suffocation. The remaining cases were classified as unexplained SUID.

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How Many Diseases Should Newborns Be Screened For?

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:
“Newborn” by Brad Carroll is licensed under CC BY 2.0Dr Sian Taylor-Phillips MPhys, PhD
Associate Professor Screening and Test Evaluation /
NIHR Career Development Fellow
Division of Health Sciences
Warwick Medical School
University of Warwick Coventry

MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?

Response: In newborn blood spot screening a small amount of blood is taken from newborn babies heels, and this is tested for a range of rare diseases. The idea is to detect each disease earlier when it is more treatable. However, it would be better not to test for some diseases, for example if the test is inaccurate so worries parents that their baby may have a serious illness when they do not. Some countries test for as few as 5 diseases and others as many as 50. In this study we investigated how different countries choose which diseases to test for.

We found that many national recommendations on whether to screen newborn babies for rare diseases do not assess the evidence on the key benefits and harms of screening. Evidence about the accuracy of the test was not considered in 42% of recommendations, evidence about whether early detection at screening has health benefits was not consulted in 30% of recommendations, and evidence around the potential harm of overdiagnosis where babies have variants of the disease that would never have caused any symptoms or ill effects was not considered in 76% of recommendations.

We also found through meta-analysis that when a systematic review was used to bring together the evidence then countries were less likely to recommend screening for the disease.

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