Date of Graduation

Spring 5-15-2017

Document Access

Project/Capstone - Global access

Degree Name

Master of Science in Nursing (MSN)


School of Nursing and Health Professions

First Advisor

Dr. Elena Capella



Sudden Infant Death Syndrome(SIDS) remains a leading cause of death for infants less than one year of age. Historically, Neonatal Intensive Care units have been exempt from following SIDS safe sleep guidelines recommended by the American Academy of Pediatrics(AAP) for SIDS prevention due to patient medical status and environment. However, in 2011 these guidelines were updated by the AAP to include NICU specific recommendations. This is a very important change due to this patient population being at a higher risk for SIDS than the term, well newborn. The Safe Sleep project was conducted in a 35 bed, tertiary care NICU. The project’s objectives were to align the safety of the sleep environment in the NICU with the updated SIDS prevention interventions and to address any RN knowledge deficits that may be present. Previous research has shown that this safe sleep environment established in the NICU will carry on through discharge home when the incidence of SIDS may occur.

Our focus for the project was on the supine sleep position being used for every sleep, as this has been identified as the most critical factor for SIDS prevention. A patient bed audit was completed which showed a 33% incorrect occurrence of non-supine sleeping. An RN survey to assess knowledge of SIDS prevention in the NICU and the perception of safety for supine sleeping was also completed which supported the existence of RN knowledge deficits. Education was completed in the form of an updated unit policy, a literature review seminar and a mandatory education module for all NICU RNs. A subsequent patient bed audit completed post education has shown a drop to 23% incorrect occurrence of non-supine sleep positioning. This is an improvement. It is recommended that we re-survey the RN staff 1 week post education completion to determine if a correction of knowledge was achieved. In addition future PDSA cycles can be instituted with a focus on the other elements of a safe sleep environment for SIDS prevention.

Safe Sleep Poster.pptx (1178 kB)
Safe Sleep Poster Presentation