HELP Committee Passes Bennet-Backed Bill to Better Understand Sudden Unexpected Deaths of Children

WASHINGTON, D.C. -- The Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions (HELP) Committee advanced a bill cosponsored by Colorado U.S. Senator Michael Bennet to help medical personnel better understand and respond to sudden unexpected deaths of children. The bill establishes uniform protocols for collecting information on infant and child deaths and provides for better training for law enforcement and medical personnel.

"Too many families in Colorado have had to endure the unimaginable pain of losing a child and not knowing why," Bennet said. "We can and should do more to help prevent these tragedies in the future. This bill will help medical personnel and researchers gather better data to ensure more families don't have to suffer this type of pain."

The Sudden Unexpected Death Data Enhancement and Awareness Act will help address the more than 25,000 stillbirths and sudden, unexpected deaths of infants and children that occur every year. It requires the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and the National Institutes of Health (NIH) to establish uniform protocols for death scene investigations and autopsies surrounding sudden, unexpected deaths of infants and children. It also supports better training for medical personnel that respond to these types of incidents.

The bill also requires the CDC to set national reporting standards for state health departments to follow to help disseminate consistent information to law enforcement, medical researchers, and health care providers.

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