May 22, 2023

CNO, John Marshall, Auxiliary President, Pat Hennessey, and OB Nurse, Sarah Tustian, RN.

Machias – DECH Auxiliary President, Pat Hennessey, presented, CNO, John Marshall, and OB Nurse, Sarah Tustian, RN with a $1,000 check for the Down Eash Community Hospital Safe Sleep Initiative.  DECH is a Safe Sleep Certified Hospital through the Cribs for Kids National Safe Sleep Hospital Certification Program.

The DECH Auxiliary has been raising funds for many years to go towards everything from scholarships for those going into the nursing profession to baby’s, equipment needs, and commemorative baby spoons.  The Auxiliary was looking to find an additional initiative that fit well with their mission and was excited to hear about the safe sleep program.  The money they donate will go toward purchasing educational gift bags for new moms.  CNO, John Marshall on the donation, “The Auxiliary contacted me right away once they heard about the program.  We were excited to learn they decided to take this on and were blown away when we received their $1,000 donation within weeks.  They are amazing, dedicated advocates for our hospital, and we appreciate them more than words can say.”

The top 3 causes of infant death are: premature or low birth weight, congenital anomalies, and Sudden Unexplained Infant Death (SUID).   Many of these deaths are preventable and related to infants being placed in unsafe sleep situations.

According to the March of Dimes

  • In Maine in 2019, 64 infants died before reaching their first birthday, an infant mortality rate of 5.4 per 1,000 live births.
  • Between 2009 and 2019, the infant mortality rate in Maine declined more than 5%.

According to a 2020-2021 Maine CDC/DHHS Annual Report – After declining for six years (2013-2019), Maine’s infant mortality rate increased in 2020. In 2020 there were 72 deaths among Maine resident infants, and the State’s infant mortality rate was 6.2 deaths per 1,000 live births.

In 2021 there were 62 deaths among Maine resident infants, and the State’s infant mortality rate was 5.2 deaths per 1,000 live births. The US 2021 infant mortality rate slightly exceeded Maine’s rate at 5.3 deaths per 1,000 live births.

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