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Subcommittee on Health Reviews Pallone Bill on Sudden Unexpected Death in Early Life

November 20, 2013
Press Release

WASHINGTON, D.C.—Today, November 20, 2013 at 2:00 p.m., the House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Health held a hearing at which H.R. 669, the “Sudden Unexpected Death Data Enhancement and Awareness Act,” was reviewed. The bill, introduced by Congressman Frank Pallone, Jr. (NJ-06), the senior Democrat on the Subcommittee, would amend the Public Health Service Act to help better understand and enhance awareness about unexpected sudden death in early life. Laura Crandall, Executive Director of Advocacy for the CJ Foundation for SIDS (Sudden Infant Death) and Program Director & Founder of the SUDC (Sudden Unexplained Death in Childhood) Program testified in support of the legislation.

Below is the partial text of the statement Congressman Pallone submitted at the hearing:


Ranking Member Frank Pallone, Jr.

House Energy and Commerce Committee

Subcommittee on Health

Hearing on “Examining Public Health Legislation to Help Local Communities”


Opening Statement

November 20, 2013

            “Thank you, Chairman Pitts, and thank you to our witnesses for being here today; a very special welcome to Laura Crandall from New Jersey.  She and I have worked together for many years on my bill that is before the Subcommittee today.  Your strength and determination is commendable.  

            I am happy that the Subcommittee is having this hearing and moving forward with several public health bills.  It is an important function of this Subcommittee to examine public health priorities and to move legislation to promote and protect the public health.  I would like to say a few words about each of the seven bills before us today.

            Firstly, I am particularly pleased that we will be examining a bill that I introduced, H.R. 669, the Sudden Unexpected Death Data Enhancement and Awareness Act.  Stillbirth and sudden unexpected infant death affect tens of thousands of families every year, according to data from CDC, and sudden infant death syndrome is the leading cause of death for infants up to 12 months old.  However, we currently lack the comprehensive, high-quality data we need to help better understand this problem.  My bill seeks to enhance CDC’s activities in this area and would expand and standardize surveillance and data collection for stillbirth and sudden unexpected infant death and develop protocols and training for medical examiners for investigating these tragic deaths.  I would like to submit for the record endorsement letters from 24 organizations, including the CJ Foundation, the American Academy of Pediatrics, and First Candle…”