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Harkin Applauds Passage of Bipartisan Infant Health Bill

WASHINGTON, D.C.— Senator Tom Harkin (D-IA), Chairman of the Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions (HELP) Committee, today applauded HELP Committee approval of the Sudden Unexpected Death Data Enhancement and Awareness Act.

“Every year tens of thousands of families suffer the unimaginable loss of a child due to stillbirth, sudden unexpected infant death, or sudden unexplained death in childhood. By passing the Sudden Unexpected Death Data Enhancement and Awareness Act, we are taking important steps to enhance surveillance and data collection and strengthen lifesaving outreach efforts,” Harkin said. “This bill will bolster critical federal programs to better understand and ultimately prevent these tragic deaths. I am pleased the Committee has approved this important bipartisan bill and look forward to its consideration by the full Senate.”

The Sudden Unexpected Death Data Enhancement and Awareness Act will help to address the more than 25,000 stillbirths that occur in the United States every year. The bill will continue activities related to data collection on stillbirth, sudden unexpected infant death (SUID), and sudden unexplained death in childhood (SUDC).  The bill also promotes the dissemination of information on stillbirth and sudden unexpected infant death to the public and stakeholders as well as fostering collaboration with the Attorney General and others to provide consistent information for medical examiners and coroners, law enforcement personnel, and health care providers related to death scene investigations and autopsies.

Additionally, the bill calls on the Secretary of Health and Human Services (HHS) to submit a report to Congress on HHS activities on stillbirth, SUID, and SUDC, including a description of any activities carried out by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the National Institutes of Health.