New database to track unexpected infant deaths

A new database to track cases of sudden unexpected infant deaths (SUIDs) is being tested, with hopes of determining whether a large drop in such cases is due to care improvement or differences in how the incidents are recorded, according to an article published today in the journal Pediatrics.

The database, known as the SUID Case Registry, is being rolled out across five states over a three-year period, and represents a collaboration between the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the National Center for Child Death Review (NCCDR). The pilot program, currently in its third year, has helped to identify nearly 1,500 SUID cases, so far.

The five states testing the database include Colorado, Georgia, Michigan, New Jersey and New Mexico.

"Because surveillance findings will identify unsafe sleep practices that are related to injury, these findings and recommendations can be used to inform prevention activities and public health messages aimed at reducing potentially preventable infant deaths," the study's authors write. "Other findings can point to interventions to enhance death scene investigations and autopsies."

According to the authors, those involved in the project have "enhanced their capacity" with regard to capturing information about SUID cases. "Progress reports from grantees suggest that the SUID-CR pilot program has improved not only the data quality of SUID case reviews, but also the data quality for all child death reviews," they write.

To learn more:
- here's the article's abstract