Medical Professional Publications

Infant Sleep-Related Deaths — A Five-Year Report

Regulatory Corner

(From the July 2017 Issue of MedStat)

Download (PDF) the report on “Infant Sleep-Related Deaths in Primary Care,” which is a summary of sleep-related deaths among Nationwide Children’s patients (0-12 months) who were seen at least one time in Nationwide Children’s Primary Care Clinic prior to their death. Over the past five years the number of sleep-related deaths has remained at about one each month which accounts for about 50 percent of the infant sleep-related deaths in Franklin County. Sixty-three percent of these deaths are African-American babies, and the greatest risk factors are co-sleeping and tobacco exposure.

Our centers are strategically located along the 71 and 70 corridors where the highest numbers of infant sleep-related deaths occur. Our primary care staff has conversations about safe sleep with each family at every well-visit from birth through 9 months of age. The first quarter of 2017 shows promise with fewer deaths, but more time is needed to establish any downward shift.

The efforts in Primary Care are just one part of the safe sleep initiative in Columbus which is coordinated through CelebrateOne. Parents are hearing about safe sleep at the birth hospital, as well as when in our emergency department/urgent care and in-patient. Organizations and community partners are working throughout our neighborhoods to spread the word and support families in providing a safe sleep environment. It takes everyone working together to reduce these deaths. Infants are safest sleeping ALONE, on their BACK, in a CRIB, in a SMOKE-FREE environment.

For more information, please contact members of the Safe Sleep Team c/o Rick McClead, MD, Associate CMO, Nationwide Children’s Hospital at (614) 722-5121 or email

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Nationwide Children's Hospital
700 Children's Drive Columbus, Ohio 43205 614.722.2000