SIDS/SUDI Awareness: First Responders Conference scheduled for Aug. 23 | Events
Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS). Sudden Unexplained Death in Infancy (SUDI). These are heart-wrenching terms that offer grieving parents no consolation. While losing a child at any time can be the most devastating event a parent will ever face, having no reason or explanation for the loss can transform the initial feelings of helplessness and grief to feelings of overwhelming guilt. “Why me? What did I do wrong? What could I have done differently?”
Unfortunately, the very fact that the first responders—emergency medical staff, law enforcement officers, physicians, coroners, ER nurses—are facing parents in their deepest grief can prevent the professionals on the scene from collecting all the necessary information for a thorough investigation and complete diagnosis. No one wants to be insensitive by questioning a mother whose baby has died. No one wants to photograph the home looking for clues in an unexplained death, leaving the family to think that maybe they are being blamed. Yet ultimately, the professionals AND the parents want answers to their questions.
The SIDS & SUDI Education: Ask Questions/Tell My Story Conference Thursday Aug. 23, 2012 at the Auburn Montgomery School of Nursing Auditorium will give these babies a voice. Keynote Speaker Hanan Kallash, RN, MS, of First Candle/SIDS Alliance, will provide first responders the tools they need to ask emotional, grieving parents the appropriate questions in a respectful manner.
“Her presentation will include SIDS/SUDI education as well as education on how to respond to those parents in pain,” says Lorie Mullins, CAT Chairperson. “Ms. Kallash has more than 20 years of public health education and training experience, and is a practicing trauma and critical care nurse. She understands how emotionally charged these interviews can be, but also how important it is to ask the questions and find the answers. She believes these babies’ voices should be heard.”
Sandra Nasca, Pike County Deputy Coroner, will present sessions on “Educating the Educated: Getting the Information” and “Knowing Your Scene: Telling Their Story.” A session on “Reaching a Diagnosis and Completing Their Story” will be conducted by Scott Belton, Alabama Department of Forensic Sciences. Hanan Kallash will end the conference with advice on supporting families in grief.
The $45 conference registration fee includes continental breakfast and lunch. Nurses and social workers can earn CEUs and the conference is E-post Training approved for law enforcement. Additionally, Fire/medics and EMS will receive credit for eight hours of training. Registration deadline is Friday August 10, 2012. For more information go to www.adph.org/perinatal or contact Lorie Mullins, River Region Community Action Team: Healthy Births for Healthier Families, at 334-834-2673.
“We hope this conference will educate first responders to be researchers and advocates at the scene of every infant loss,” says Mullins. “We want every baby to tell his story.”