bed-sharing and drug and alcohol use in SIDS. (News: clinical digest: a weekly
round-up of the latest research and scientific reports from the nursing and
medical journals).(Brief Article)
Date: 4/2/2003; Publication: Nursing Standard;
Women should be warned pre- and postnatally about the combined risk of smoking and bed sharing for sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS).
Researchers from the Wirral examined the sleeping arrangements for babies in postmortem-confirmed cases of SIDS. In particular they investigated the prevalence of bed sharing with mothers who smoke, a known risk factor for SIDS. The retrospective study involved records from ambulance crews, case notes, health visitor reports and case discussion records.
There were 25 cases of SIDS in the Wirral in the six-year period of the study. In nine of the cases the baby was bed sharing with the mother, seven of whom were smokers. Five of these mothers reported using alcohol or illicit drugs on the night of their baby's death. In two further cases, the baby was sleeping on a sofa with a parent.
The authors say that advice to mothers should include a recommendation not to sleep with their baby if under the influence of alcohol or illicit drugs and never to sleep on a sofa with their baby. This information is now included in the child health record books given to parents, and in advice leaflets given to parents pre- and postnatally. Midwives and health visitors have also been educated about these additions.
James C et al (2002) Sudden infant death syndrome: bed sharing with mothers who smoke. Archives of Disease in Childhood. 88, 2, 112-113.
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