News Video | Policy | GPs | Hospitals | Medical | Mental Health | Welfare | Search

 

Toxic Gas May Cause Cot Death - Health Boss

Director-General Of Health Concedes Toxic Gas A Possible Cause Of Cot Death

The Director-General of Health, Dr Karen Poutasi, has conceded that toxic gas may be a cause of cot death.

In a letter to Dr Jim Sprott dated 29 August 2000 Dr Poutasi stated that the Ministry regards gaseous poisoning as "one possible cause of SIDS".

Dr Sprott has called on Dr Poutasi to commence publicity advising parents to wrap their babies' mattresses for cot death prevention.

"Dr Poutasi can't have it both ways," said Dr Sprott. "She cannot on the one hand say that toxic gas is a possible cause of cot death, and on the other hand refuse to tell parents to wrap babies' mattresses."

In this regard, Dr Sprott explained, the toxic gas theory is quite unlike other cot death theories (e.g. the narrow airways theory). "Unlike other cot death theories, the toxic gas theory has a known preventive measure. So if an advisory agency like the Ministry says that toxic gas may cause cot death, it has a clear responsibility to advise parents to wrap babies' mattresses as a precaution."

Dr Sprott envisages the possibility of legal negligence actions by bereaved parents if the Ministry does not publicise mattress-wrapping for cot death prevention. "The Ministry have known about mattress-wrapping since the early 1990s. They know that there has been no reported cot death on a wrapped mattress, but they refuse to publicise mattress-wrapping advice."

"Now that the Ministry have conceded that toxic gas is a possible cause of cot death, they have come one step nearer negligence liability if they don't tell parents to wrap babies' mattresses," said Dr Sprott.

Ends

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
Culture Headlines | Health Headlines | Education Headlines

 

Howard Davis: Jill Trevelyan's Rita Angus

Although Angus has become one of Aotearoa’s best-loved painters, the story of her life remained little known and poorly understood before Jill Trevelyan's acclaimed and revelatory biography, which won the Non Fiction Award at the Montana New Zealand Book Awards in 2009, and has now been republished by Te Papa press. More>>

Howard Davis: The Back of the Painting

Painting conservators are the forensic pathologists of the art world. While they cannot bring their subjects back to life, they do provide fascinating insights into the precise circumstances of a painting's creation, its material authenticity, and constructive methodology. More>>


Howard Davis: Black Panthers on the Prowl

A passionate and gripping political drama from Shaka King, this is an informative and instructive tale of human frailty that centers around the charismatic Chicago Black Panther leader Fred Hampton, who was murdered at the age of twenty-one during a police raid. More>>


Howard Davis: Controlling the High Ground

Stephen Johnson's raw and angry film not only poses important questions with scrupulous authenticity, but also provides a timely reminder of the genocidal consequences of casual bigotry and xenophobia. More>>

Howard Davis: Dryzabone - Robert Conolly's The Dry

After the terrible devastation caused by last year’s bushfires, which prompted hundreds of Australians to shelter in the ocean to escape incineration and destroyed uncountable amounts of wildlife, The Dry has been released during a totally different kind of dry spell. More>>

Howard Davis: Hit the Road, Jack - Chloé Zhao's Nomadland

Nomadland is perhaps the ultimately 'road' movie as it follows a group of dispossessed and disenfranchised vagabonds who find a form of communal refuge in camp sites and trailer parks after the economic contraction of 2008. More>>

Howard Davis: Byrneing Down the House - Spike Lee's American Utopia

Lee does an admirable job capturing Byrne's stunning live performance of his latest album, but the real star of the show is the staging. More>>


 
 
 
 
 
 

LATEST HEADLINES

  • CULTURE
  • HEALTH
  • EDUCATION
 
 
  • Wellington
  • Christchurch
  • Auckland