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Keywords

Sudden Infant Death Syndrome, Sleep positioning, Nursing practice

 

Authors

  1. Bullock, Linda F. C. PhD, RN, FAAN
  2. Mickey, Karen MS, RN
  3. Green, Jodi MS, RN
  4. Heine, Anne MS, RN

ABSTRACT

Purpose: To examine nurses' knowledge, attitude, and practice in positioning healthy newborns for sleep in the hospital setting.

 

Design and Methods: A cross-sectional descriptive design was used to survey a convenience sample of practicing maternal child nurses in 58 Missouri hospitals. A 24-item investigator designed questionnaire was developed with input from SIDS Resources in Missouri.

 

Results: A total of 528 surveys were analyzed. These nurses reported no longer placing infants in the prone position for sleep, but almost 75% of those answering the survey used either the side-lying position or a mixture of side and back positioning, even though 96% of the nurses said they were aware of the AAP Guidelines recommending "back to sleep." Forty-five percent of the nurses thought the infant would be at risk for aspiration if only placed on his/her back. Only 53% of the nurses knew their hospital's policy about newborn positioning; 80% of those who knew about the policy said it included the lateral position as being acceptable practice.

 

Clinical Implications: Nurses are the role models for new parents regarding newborn sleep position, and are in a unique position to influence parents' decisions about how to place their infants for sleep at home. Because nurses continue to worry about aspiration when newborns are placed on their backs, it is clear that more education is needed for hospital nurses about newborn sleep position and hospital policies, as well as AAP Guidelines.