Australians donating to Red Nose Day (today, Friday 12 August) will help fund a vital new $100,000 Sudden Infant Death Syndrome research grant.
New data shows there’s been an increase in stillbirths in Australia but a reduction in the number of neonatal and SIDS deaths. The latest data shows 2,997 babies aged under one died in the year, up 51 compared to 2,946 deaths over the previous year.
Of the 2,997 deaths:
- 2,183 were stillbirths – up from 2,116 the previous year.
- 714 were neonatal deaths (in the first 28 days of a baby’s life – similar to 718 the previous year.
- 100 were SIDS and unexplained deaths in infants – compared to 112 the previous year.
This new data is for the year 2019, and the previous year is 2018. (There is a lag in the release of data by both the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare and the Australian Bureau of Statistics to allow time for autopsy reports and coronial inquests.)
Major new research grant
Today, Red Nose is launching a new $100,000 research grant – the Red Nose SIDS Biomarker Development Grant.
This grant will help fund research into the development of a SIDS biomarker that it’s hoped one day can produce a test to determine a baby’s vulnerability to SIDS – the ultimate goal in the fight against SIDS deaths reducing the number of SIDS losses even further.
Australian researchers have been invited to apply. Supporters can help fund the grant by donating to Red Nose Day at: rednoseday.org.au.
A mum remembers
Amy Hinton-Kench was the mother to Ayla who was stillborn in 2021. Amy and partner James of Melbourne received Red Nose counselling and Hospital to Home support after their daughter was stillborn. Amy created a fitness challenge and raised more than $10,000 for Red Nose Day last year – she was one of Victoria’s top fundraisers.
‘We were lost when we came home to an empty house without our baby girl,’ Amy remembers.
‘All the emotions and then physical planning you are expected to manage is overwhelming. Red Nose’s Hospital to Home program supported us through the transition back into some sort of normality. It provided us with a lifeline, a safe space to talk about Ayla and also guidance on how to navigate our grief, between ourselves but also with the wider community.
‘By supporting Red Nose Day, you know that your contribution will help thousands of parents in your community and help reduce the little lives lost each year,’ she said. ‘Please help bring some light back into grieving families’ lives, this is invaluable.’
SIDS numbers getting worse
Keren Ludski, CEO, Red Nose Australia said, ‘This latest release of Australian Government data shows why we continue to need Red Nose Day now more than ever. It is simply heartbreaking to see the number of Australians experiencing the death of a baby.’
Ms Ludski is urging Australians to do something very practical about the problem by supporting Red Nose Day, and helping to fund the new SIDS research grant.
‘Please donate to Red Nose Day if you can, because every dollar makes such a difference,’ she said.
Get involved and find out more
If you’re in the mood to get silly for a serious cause, you can make a donation, host an event or buy a red nose at: rednoseday.org.au
AIHW stillbirths and neonatal deaths report (released 22/7/22) at: https://www.aihw.gov.au/reports/mothers-babies/australias-mothers-babies/contents/about
ABS causes of death including infant mortality at: https://www.abs.gov.au/statistics/health/causes-death/causes-death-australia/2019