New pilot program aims to help improve infant mortality in Allen County

On average, between seven and eight Allen County infants out of every one thousand will die before their first birthday, that’s according to data from the Indiana State Department of Health. A new program will soon begin with the hope to improve outcomes for both babies and families.

Posted: Jan 21, 2021 9:10 PM
Updated: Jan 21, 2021 11:19 PM

FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WFFT) - On average, between seven and eight out of every one thousand Allen County babies will die before their first birthday, that’s according to data from the Indiana State Department of Health.

In statewide comparisons, Allen County ranks near the top every year in infant mortality rates.

In 2020 alone, Fort Wayne Police spokeswoman Sgt. Sofira Rosales-Scatena say they were called to seven cases where unsafe infant sleeping practices resulted in death.

"We saw a pattern of, which has been troublesome for the past few years, co-sleeping incidents with parents whos infants die after they roll over or they suffocate in blankets, those kinds of things," Rosales-Scatenia said.

Jackie Martinez with Healthier Moms and Babies says things like sleeping in the same bed as an infant, over bundling your baby, putting blankets in pack and plays, and letting infants sleep on their stomachs are all things that put infants at risk.

Both Martinez and Rosales-Scatena says infant deaths due to unsafe sleeping habits is almost 100% perventable. Something Healthier Moms and Babies aims to teach new parents.

"We teach and practice safe sleep practices and many do their best, but some don’t know what they don’t know," Martinez says. "So, that is something we’re really trying to focus on, really reducing and eventually eliminating, those deaths."

Thanks to a grant from the Saint Joseph Community Health Foundation, Healthier Moms and Babies will be teaming up with Parkview Health and Wayne High School's New Tech Academy to implement new infant dolls to demonstrate to clients safe sleeping positions.

Martinez explained, "It’s going to be, from what I’ve been told, a clear baby with a trachea that you can see and it has more of a visual, a hands on, which it really is a really good approach when you’re doing teaching."

The dolls will simulate what happens if an infant spits up when they're asleep while lying on their stomachs and on their backs, allowing parents to learn, hands-on, why back sleeping is safer for an infant.

Healthier Moms andBabies says the new program is unique, saying Fort Wayne will be the only community in the country with this type tool. Hopefully, resulting in a better outcome for babies and families.

The new safe sleep pilot program is set to begin in February 2021, contact Healthier Moms and Babies for more information.

Indiana Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 657037

Reported Deaths: 12450
CountyCasesDeaths
Marion901321624
Lake48105871
Allen35552632
Hamilton31839393
St. Joseph29538510
Elkhart25261412
Vanderburgh21115377
Tippecanoe19765197
Johnson16242352
Porter15838267
Hendricks15723296
Clark11843179
Madison11672314
Vigo11503228
Monroe10248158
Delaware9788178
LaPorte9720194
Howard9017194
Kosciusko8514107
Bartholomew7373147
Warrick7369146
Hancock7362128
Floyd7139164
Wayne6586188
Grant6395157
Morgan6040124
Boone603388
Dubois5868111
Dearborn540266
Henry539492
Marshall5390104
Cass537199
Noble506775
Jackson462063
Shelby458490
Lawrence4154111
Gibson399681
Harrison395160
Clinton392353
DeKalb382078
Montgomery381583
Knox354484
Miami354063
Whitley346235
Huntington338176
Steuben335955
Wabash328775
Putnam325959
Ripley325161
Adams320249
Jasper312943
White295351
Jefferson292770
Daviess284296
Fayette270255
Decatur269388
Greene259978
Posey259731
Wells255374
Scott248446
LaGrange240170
Clay238944
Randolph225076
Spencer215830
Jennings213544
Washington207727
Sullivan202038
Fountain200341
Starke185950
Owen181652
Jay177328
Fulton176437
Carroll175618
Perry172435
Orange170450
Rush163922
Franklin158335
Vermillion158040
Tipton145441
Parke137915
Pike127232
Blackford120027
Pulaski105643
Newton96431
Brown94639
Benton91113
Crawford90113
Martin80114
Switzerland7507
Warren74612
Union66810
Ohio52711
Unassigned0425

Ohio Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 958153

Reported Deaths: 16968
CountyCasesDeaths
Franklin1109381191
Cuyahoga944201702
Hamilton72486944
Montgomery46927869
Summit39637941
Butler35004461
Lucas34724755
Stark29011826
Warren22137269
Lorain21738385
Mahoning19251533
Lake18178300
Clermont18172206
Delaware16261128
Licking14820194
Fairfield14378157
Trumbull14136454
Greene13470209
Medina13188218
Clark12121332
Wood11384193
Portage10829152
Allen10710231
Richland10165198
Miami9937179
Columbiana8049179
Muskingum8036123
Tuscarawas7974233
Pickaway795898
Marion7936134
Wayne7791216
Erie6783181
Ross6065135
Geauga5978129
Hancock5941110
Scioto5867105
Ashtabula5811140
Lawrence519073
Union505052
Darke5006122
Belmont484787
Sandusky472393
Jefferson4709107
Huron4701116
Seneca4620103
Athens456231
Mercer4559101
Auglaize453896
Washington451286
Shelby438867
Knox397884
Putnam3964101
Madison388747
Ashland374594
Fulton374364
Defiance3670101
Brown366742
Crawford354296
Preble350570
Logan349757
Clinton336162
Highland323652
Ottawa318467
Williams299578
Jackson287056
Guernsey283234
Champaign282545
Fayette265642
Perry265239
Morrow256624
Henry242665
Hardin241856
Holmes2416104
Coshocton230246
Van Wert227749
Gallia219446
Adams213732
Pike212025
Wyandot207652
Hocking192148
Carroll178828
Paulding158423
Meigs133536
Noble127842
Monroe114936
Harrison99132
Morgan98834
Vinton76215
Unassigned00
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