SUID and SDY Case Registry

As part of the Sudden Unexpected Infant Death (SUID) and Sudden Death in the Young (SDY) Case Registry, CDC’s Division of Reproductive Health supports SUID monitoring programs in 22 states and jurisdictions, covering about 1 in 3 SUID cases in the United States. The SUID and SDY Case Registry builds on child death reviewexternal icon programs and uses the National Center for Fatality Review and Prevention’s Case Reporting Systemexternal icon, bringing together information about the circumstances associated with SUID and SDY cases, as well as information about investigations into these deaths. Participating states and jurisdictions use data about SUID and SDY trends and circumstances to develop strategies to reduce future deaths.

CDC and the National Institutes of Health collaborate on the SDY component of the SUID and SDY Case Registry, which expands the population of the previously established SUID Case Registry to include children and adolescents. The SDY component of the Case Registry was created to increase the understanding of the prevalence, causes, and risk factors for infants, children, and young adults who die suddenly and unexpectedly and to inform strategies to prevent future deaths.

SUID and SDY Case Registry Activities

Participating states and jurisdictions conduct the following activities:

  • Monitor SUID trends and characteristics that may affect the risk of SUID, such as infant sleep position. Monitoring SUID rates is vital to identifying new risk factors and tracking progress toward reducing SUID.
  • Improve the quality and consistency of SUID investigation data. This activity helps standardize the process of determining cause of death. As a result, states are able to more accurately monitor SUID rates and develop informed prevention activities.
  • Use data about SUID trends and characteristics to carry out actions to reduce future deaths. Examples of these activities include:
    • Educating parents and caregivers about safe sleep for babies.
    • Training hospital staff on safe sleep recommendations.
    • Supporting policy changes that require childcare centers to apply safe sleep recommendations.

Current SUID and SDY Case Registry Awardees

map of US - see caption below


Participating states and jurisdictions include Alaska; Arizona; Colorado; Cook County, Illinois; Kentucky, Louisiana, Maryland, Michigan, New Jersey, select counties in Pennsylvania; Tennessee; Pierce County, Washington; and Wisconsin.


Participating states and jurisdictions include San Francisco County, California; Delaware; Indiana; select counties in Michigan; Minnesota; Nevada; New Hampshire; New Mexico; Philadelphia County, Pennsylvania; select counties in Tennessee, Tidewater Region, Virginia; Utah; and select counties in Wisconsin.

SUID Prevention in Action: Awardee Success Stories

Changing Education Policies: A Story from Michigan

As part of their participation in the SUID Case Registry, the Michigan Public Health Institute (MPHI) analyzed their data and found an increase in infant deaths within families receiving child protective services. To address this issue, MPHI worked with the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services to develop an infant safe sleep training and a policy that requires all child protection workers (e.g. foster care, child protective services) to receive this training. In response to this policy, Michigan’s SUID Case Registry staff is conducting county-based, face-to-face, safe sleep trainings for every child welfare worker in the state. As a result of SUID Case Registry staff efforts, approximately 3,500 workers in all of Michigan’s 83 counties have been trained since October 2014. Additionally, Michigan passed the Infant Safe Sleep Act in 2014. This bill requires all birthing hospitals in the state to provide information and educational materials on infant safe sleep practices to new parents after the birth of their child.

Developing Partnerships: A Story from Louisiana

The Louisiana Department of Health, Office of Public Health, Bureau of Family Health’s participation in the SUID Case Registry has led to the development of new partnerships to promote safe sleep throughout the state, such as the Collaborative Improvement and Innovation Network (CoIIN) Safe Sleep Champion Hospitals initiative. Professionals participating in SUID Case Registry case reviews of infant deaths in 2013 recommended improving safe sleep education in hospitals. In response, Louisiana’s maternal and child health regional coordinators visited all the birthing hospitals in their state, shared data from the SUID Case Registry, and distributed information about the CoIIN initiative with maternal and child health administrators. As a result of this SUID Case Registry and CoIIN project, all 52 birthing hospitals in Louisiana have been recognized as Safe Sleep Champion Hospitals, signing on to carry out at least one new action related to policy change, staff education, patient education, or community outreach to promote the 2011 safe sleep recommendations issued by the American Academy of Pediatrics.

Targeting Safe Sleep Behaviors: A Story from New Jersey

New Jersey used its SUID Case Registry data to identify populations with higher risks of SUID that could potentially benefit from targeted prevention activities. The data showed that infants of teen mothers had higher rates of SUID in New Jersey, and that almost every mother of an infant in the Registry received prenatal care. In response to these findings, the New Jersey Department of Children and Families partnered with the New Jersey Department of Education and Department of Health and sponsored a safe sleep art contest in middle schools throughout New Jersey. Middle school students were selected because they are current babysitters and future parents. The winning submission was printed on a tote bag that was filled with safe sleep materials. The bags were distributed to programs that deliver prenatal care, including 20 federally qualified health centers, 17 Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) Offices, 22 Aid to Families with Dependent Children Offices, and multiple home visiting programs.