250 lake area moms part of SIDS study - KPLC 7 News, Lake Charles, Louisiana

250 Lake Area moms part of SIDS study

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LAKE CHARLES, LA (KPLC) -

It is a new parent's worst nightmare: sudden infant death syndrome or SIDS, the unexplainable death of a baby under the age of one. 

A clinical study through the National Institutes of Health (NIH) has the goal of saving more babies from SIDS, with the help of Lake Charles Memorial Hospital for Women neonatologist Dr. Juan Bossano.

Babies are Bossano's calling. He is using it to hopefully keep more babies alive by serving as a principle investigator in the NIH clinical study on sudden infant death syndrome. 

"If a baby dies during sleep and no specific cause is found, then that's what is called SIDS or crib death," said Bossano.

One in every 2,000 babies dies from SIDS every year. It had been double that amount until the launch of a campaign in the 1990s to tell parents to have babies sleep on their backs. 

"After that, we have had a steady incidence and that's where we are hoping with more intensity of education and more awareness that we will be able to reduce that further," said Bossano.

Over the past three years, hundreds of moms across the country, including 250 in Southwest Louisiana, have been interviewed about breastfeeding habits, personal health, and newborn sleep positions. 

"The study consists basically of an initial interview where we collect different demographic data and then it's followed up in two to four months," said Bossano.

Each of the 32 hospitals selected across the country to be a part of this study, including in Lake Charles, were picked on the basis of their demographics. Lake Charles offers a mix of rural and city patients, Caucasian and African-American, where their habits can all be analyzed through this study. 

Research has pinpointed three potential causes of SIDS:    

*Underdeveloped organs: infant organs that are still forming;
*Decreased pulmonary ability; and
*External factors: sleep position, maternal smoking and the bed environment.     

The hope of this SIDS study is to shed even more light on behaviors that can be changed and intervene to save lives.

The next phase of the study will start in 2014. It will look at which hospital sites had the highest incidence of SIDS in the study and bring more resources to educate parents in those higher risk places.

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