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Sudden Infant Death Syndrome Network's
Electronic Newsletter

Reaching Out
Issue 200102b
February 8, 2001

SIDS Network Web Site Sponsorship

For the month of February 2001 the SIDS Network web site is sponsored by John F. Maloney in memory of daughter Laura Maloney (10/7/67-1/9/68) and her Mother Denise Maloney (10/26/47-12/26/00).

It is not too late to sponsor the SIDS Network web site in selected months for 2001 and 2002.
Information about sponsorship of the web site can be found at:
http://sids-network.org/your_donation_can_help_the_sids_.htm 

Contents:
1. Comments from Dr. Henry Krous, Consultant in Pediatric Pathology for the AAP Committee on Child Abuse and Neglect Regarding the new AAP Policy, Distinguishing Sudden Infant Death Syndrome From Child Abuse Fatalities
2. Selected RECALLS, ALERTS, and NEWS from CPSC
3. Make Donations to help the SIDS Network

1. Comments from Dr. Henry Krous, Consultant in Pediatric Pathology for the AAP Committee on Child Abuse and Neglect Regarding the new AAP Policy, Distinguishing Sudden Infant Death Syndrome From Child Abuse Fatalities

Date: Tue, 6 Feb 2001

The AAP guidelines (http://www.sids-network.org/experts/abuse_aap_rec.htm) have created a storm of controversy, unfortunately much of it could have been avoided.

We (i.e., parents, medical examiners, scene investigators, child maltreatment specialists, etc) all want accurate diagnoses on all babies dying suddenly and unexpectedly.

All agree on essentially all of the guidelines. The one regarding examination of the body by the child maltreatment expert being the exception, I will address that later.

They are recommendations or guidelines, not rules or law,

It is my hope that when the dust settles that the medical examiner/coroners and child maltreatment experts in each jurisdiction will be able, and should, work out a system that accommodates the needs of both sets of medical specialists.

There are two very important and unfortunate controversies:
1. the jurisdictional conflict that is created by the recommendation that a child maltreatment expert examine the body before the medical examiner, and
2. the potential that the publicity surrounding the publication of these guidelines to increase in the public's mind that SIDS parents "got away with murder".

Regarding the first, members of NAME, the National Association of Medical Examiners, are furious about this recommendation, as I knew they would be, and for that reason I HAD STRONGLY RECOMMENDED THAT THE AAP RECOMMENDATIONS be finalized with the input of the NAME executive committee. Unfortunately that did not happen.

Regarding the second, I have been interviewed by the associated press and other newspapers and appeared in two television interviews and I have emphasized that all of us want accurate diagnoses based on thorough review of the medical history, careful investigation of the death scene and comprehensive postmortem examinations, and that all of the evidence indicates that the vast majority of SIDS cases have died of natural causes.

Highly positioned members of NAME will be addressing these guidelines at their meeting in a few weeks and I am sure they will respond to the AAP. It is my hope that this will be settled amicably with the least injury to SIDS parents, but this is going to take a while. There are some very bitter feelings now.

Henry F. Krous, MD
Children's Hospital of San Diego, CA
hkrous@rchsd.org 

2. Selected RECALLS, ALERTS, and NEWS from CPSC U.S. Consumer Product

Read the latest Safety Commission recalls, alerts, and news.
The information can be found at: http://sids-network.org/cpsc.htm 

3. Make Donations to the SIDS Network

Your donation can help the SIDS Network’s award winning Internet services ... throughout your area, across the United States, and around the world!

Each dollar counts. Any donation, no matter how small makes a difference.

A secure credit card donation can be made at: http://sids-network.org/paypal.htm 

or Please mail your donation to:
SIDS Network
PO Box 267
Ledyard, CT 06339

Additional opportunities to help can be found at: http://sids-network.org/your_donation_can_help_the_sids_.htm  and http://sids-network.org/ 

You have just finished reading the Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS) Network Electronic Newsletter. This newsletter is available on the Web site at http://sids-network.org/newsletter/ . If you come across articles or information on SIDS, please e-mail the information to sidsnet1-at-sids-network-dot-org . We send this newsletter to interested people through several e-mail mailing list sources. Because of this, you may receive more than one copy. We apologize for this inconvenience. You may remove yourself from the SIDS Network e-mail mailing list by unsubscribing at the SIDS Network home page: http://sids-network.org  at the "Join List:Listbot" button.

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