Friday, July 08, 2011

SBS Prevention Tales of Two States: Michigan, Kentucky

In Michigan, reports a pediatrician at Mott Children's Hospital is working with Flint High schools to increase awareness about the vulnerability of young children to inflicted head injuries.  The project is supported by a CATCH grant from the AAP, funded by Pfzier ..
U-M pediatrician strives to improve children’s health through community-based initiative
08/07/2011 - There are approximately 1,300-1,600 reported cases of Shaken Baby Syndrome (SBS) each year in the U.S. One out of four babies with Shaken Baby Syndrome die. The other three babies will need ongoing medical attention for the rest of their short life spans.

Faisal Mawri, M.D., FAAP, a pediatrician at U-M C.S. Mott Children’s Hospital, has developed a community-based initiative to combat this health challenge. With support from the Community Access To Child Health (CATCH) Program, a national program of the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), Mawri endeavors to reduce the incidence of SBS in the Flint area.

“Shaken Baby Syndrome or Abusive Head Trauma is a form of inflicted head trauma on infants and young children. SBS represents one of the most severe forms of child abuse with up to 30% mortality among infants. Despite the severity of the injuries and enormous societal cost, SBS continue to occur frequently in our society.” Mawri said. “I believe the Flint area has a higher per capita Shaken Baby Syndrome rate than the national average.”

Through a CATCH implementation grant, Mawri was able to create the Keep Infants Safe and Secure (KISS) program for local schools. Mawri’s research shows that young first-time parents, particularly young fathers, benefit from education about SBS. The KISS program is working with three Flint high schools to educate the students about the effects and dangers of SBS.

"With a relatively small grant, pediatricians with a vision can make a big difference to help make communities healthier for the children who live there," says O. Marion Burton, M.D., FAAP, president of the AAP. AAP has recently awarded twenty-five CATCH implementation grants nationwide, totaling $280,655. Mawri’s project is supported in full by Pfizer.
And in Kentucky, following Kentucky's 2010 adoption of SBS prevention legislation sponsored by Rep. Adda Wuchner, reports that child abuse deaths are showing an encouraging trend...
Child Abuse Deaths Down In Kentucky
Number Still Above National Average
LOUISVILLE, Ky. -July 7, 2011 - The latest report on child abuse deaths shows Kentucky has lost its No. 1 ranking, but is still above the national average.   The only forensic pediatrician in the state said the improvement in ranking is due in part to increased awareness and training.

Kosair Children's Hospital said it sees about 75 cases of abusive head trauma each year, one-third of those cases resulting in death.   Experts said in these cases, the explanation of the child's injuries usually does not match the trauma suffered, and medical professionals need to know the difference.

"When it's a case of abusive head trauma, almost always either the child comes in with no history of trauma. Yet the child clearly has suffered trauma to the head, or there's a history that is just not consistent with what we're finding," said Dr. Melissa Currie.

Currie said the most common trigger for abusive head trauma is crying.  Offering help to new moms, and teaching caregivers it's OK to lay a baby in a safe place and take a break, goes a long way in preventing these deaths and injuries.

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