Little progress in preventing sudden infant deaths since last report: BC Coroner

Coroners panel studied 141 sleep-related sudden infant deaths between 2013 and 2018

There’s been no change in the number of babies dying in their sleep five years after B.C.’s coroners’ services made recommendations to stem the trend.

The service says its death review panel found about 23 infants under the age of one die unexpectedly while sleeping each year.

The panel studied 141 sleep-related sudden infant deaths between 2013 and 2018 and found infants continue to die under the same circumstances identified by an earlier panel that looked at the same types of deaths between 2008 and 2012.

The panel report says the deaths disproportionately affect vulnerable young families with risk factors, such as exposure to tobacco, while a combination of sleep positions and health issues may increase the danger.

The panel calls for additional support from public-health nurses and other trained providers for expectant women and families with infants, and consistent, accessible messages related to infant sleep practices.

ALSO READ: Number of kids rushed to BC Children’s after fall from windows doubles

It also recommends a provincial approach to the review of infant deaths, including expanded investigative protocols.

“Something that stood out for us is that there are many parallels to the findings from our death review panel into these deaths five years ago,” panel chairman Michael Egilson said. “That means there is still work to do around sharing messaging about safe sleep practices and associated risk with the right audience; and, there is work to do to better support new parents with identified vulnerabilities.”

Egilson was joined on the panel by 19 experts working in areas like youth services, child welfare, maternal health, medicine, law enforcement and Indigenous health.

It found gaps in capacity for delivering universal health services and for providing enhanced services to vulnerable families.

The previous death panel’s report, published in 2014, also made recommendations aimed at improving investigative practices and data collection for investigators, including coroners and first responders.

It called for guidelines to be established for genetic testing in coroner investigations and identifying audiences and messaging around safe sleep practices.

The Canadian Press

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Drive-through COVID-19 testing underway at Saanich Peninsula Hospital

It is not clear when testing started or how many tests have already happened

West Shore RCMP search for man wanted on 15 outstanding warrants

Steven Sandhu is believed to be living in View Royal

GAIN Group offers complimentary delivery services to customers and local health care workers

Vancouver Island customers and health care workers supported by group

Camosun College to produce more than 9,000 face shields for Island Health workers

An innovative new design will allow for mass production of face shields for use across Canada

VicPD reunites four-year-old boy with family after he snuck out a window

The boy was spotted wandering alone on Wednesday morning

First Nations, remote communities need special attention in pandemic, Freeland says

Health-care workers, seniors, Indigenous Peoples some of people most at risk, health officials say

POLL: Will you be able to make your rent or mortgage payment this month?

With the COVID-19 delivering a devastating blow to the global economy, and… Continue reading

Independent investigation praises RCMP actions in Vancouver Island suicide attempt

Man hurt in incident that took place near Nanoose Bay in September of 2019

‘A matter of human decency’: Truckers’ union calls on gas stations, rest stops to fully re-open

Teamsters Canada wants feds, provinces to put pressure on facilities to re-open for transport workers

B.C. unveils $3.5M COVID-19 emergency fund for post-secondary students

Money will help students cover living expenses, food, travel, portable computers

North Cowichan to police popular trails to ensure physical distancing

“You can expect delays accessing Mount Tzouhalem, or even to be turned away.”

‘We will get through this’: B.C. sees new COVID-19 death, but 57% have recovered

A total of 1,066 people have tested positive for the novel coronavirus

Canada’s 75% wage subsidy is coming, but not for several weeks: finance minister

Subsidy will cost Canada $71 billion, but push down cost of emergency benefit, Morneau said

COVID-19: ‘The Ballad of Bonnie Henry’ recorded and released

LISTEN: Quick turnaround for song penned by B.C. Order of Canada musician Phil Dwyer

Most Read