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0051 Engaging hospitals to reduce sleep-related infant deaths: tennessee hospital safe sleep policy project
  1. Rachel Heitmann
  1. Tennessee Department of Health, Nashville, TN, USA


Statement of purpose Sleep related infant deaths are on the rise in many states. In Tennessee, approximately 20% of infant deaths are due to sleep-related causes each year. The main contributors to sleep-related deaths in Tennessee are: Baby not sleeping in a crib or bassinette (71% of deaths), infant sleeping with other people (57% of deaths), and infant not sleeping on back (61%).

Methods/Approach In January 2014, 71 hospitals, including 100% of birthing hospitals, signed a pledge to participate in the hospital safe sleep policy project. All hospitals agreed to develop and implement a hospital safe sleep policy to teach staff and caregivers the importance of following the ABC’s of safe sleep-babies should sleep Alone, on their Back, and in a Crib. The Tennessee Department of Health provided an incentive package to participating hospitals.

Results This poster will highlight the successes of the project including the number of staff trained, number of parents trained, findings from the required quarterly crib audits, and the number of sleep-related deaths per quarter after the project was implemented. Facilitators and barriers to implementation of a statewide hospital safe sleep policy project will also be highlighted.

Conclusions The evaluation showed a reduction in the number of infants found in an unsafe sleep environment during crib audits done at the hospitals.

Significance and contribution to the field By hospitals teaching and modelling correct sleep behaviour, sleep-related deaths among infants can be reduced. Tennessee is the only state to have 100% of birthing hospitals commit to creating a safe sleep policy; therefore the results of this project are significant in the injury prevention field.

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