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

UVic, rowing coach sued over alleged ‘fat shaming’ and verbal abuse

Lawsuit says Barney Williams subjected coxswain Lily Copeland to offensive and belittling language

Victoria’s top 10 worst intersections for crashes in 2019

Last year saw 2,560 crashes in Victoria

Man who punched UVic student gets more jail time for similar assault two weeks later

Latto Simian Sesay has been sentenced to more than 10 years for the two assaults

Excitement building around Esquimalt Town Square

Residential, commercial and library project will add vibrancy, amenities to area, mayor says

QUIZ: Do you know the truth?

In what has been described as a post-truth era, how much do you know about truth and lies?

Canada to match donations to Lebanon relief

Canada is directing all of its aid for this crisis directly to humanitarian organizations, not the Lebanese government

1 year since a B.C. teen died in a skate park, his family still waiting for charges

Carson Crimeni’s final moments were broadcast on social media

NHL playoffs: Canucks to meet St. Louis Blues in Round 1

Vancouver takes on defending champs beginning Wednesday

Simon Cowell breaks his back falling from electric bike

Incident happened at his home in California

Unofficial holidays: the weird and wonderful things people celebrate around the world

On any given day of the year, there are several strange, silly or serious holidays to observe

Missing teen visiting Courtenay found safe

She had last been seen going for a walk on Aug. 6

Moving on: Tanev scores 11 seconds into OT as Canucks oust Wild

Vancouver beats Minnesota 5-4 to move into first round of NHL playoffs

Fitness non-profit challenges citizens to invent a game to be physically active

The campaign was launched after a study showed only 4.8 per cent of children and youths in Canada met required standards of the 24-hour movement guidelines

Most Read