Legislation To Expand Awareness And Prevention Of Sudden Infant And Child Deaths

Flickr.com photo by Melisa Eleftherion Carr.
Flickr.com photo by Melisa Eleftherion Carr.
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The sudden death of an infant is one of the worst experiences for a parent. And it’s even harder to take when there’s no apparent reason.

“There are more than 4,600 sudden unexpected infant deaths each year in this country," says Ohio Senator Sherrod Brown. "No parent should ever have to grieve the loss of a child with no answers, and with no help.”

Brown spoke on a conference call with reporters. Parma resident Kathy Stachewicz joined him. Her infant daughter inexplicably died in her crib 11 years ago.

“Unfortunately, when Bella was buried, the reason of her death was buried with her," says Stachewicz.

"And sadly, I’ll never know….it’s my daily life. My year and a half year old, perfect, healthy daughter…is gone. Could my other kids have it…whatever this is? I’ll never know. I’ll live in fear every day…wondering.”

Senator Brown sponsored the legislation that would build on existing CDC protocols, improving data collection from autopsies, and monitoring cases of stillbirths, and babies who abruptly die. Brown said half the stillbirths go unexplained.

Brown’s bill would also obligate the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services to share information on the subject with the public and health care providers.

Ohio suffers one of the highest rates of stillbirths, with the Greater Cleveland area ranking high in the state.

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