In the Debate Over ‘SIDS Monitors,’ Evidence Is Thin All Around

BY MICHAEL SCHULSON: For Complete Post, Click Here…

Supporters hope modern baby monitors might prevent sudden infant death syndrome. Critics are doubtful. Who’s right?

EACH YEAR IN THE United States, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, around 1,300 infants die from sudden infant death syndrome, or SIDS. It’s a leading cause of death for babies born without an obvious medical condition, and it is devastating in its particulars: Parents put a seemingly healthy infant down to sleep and come back to find that the baby has died. Most infants who die of SIDS are between 1 and 4 months old.

“The grief responses are especially severe,” said Richard Goldstein, a pediatrician at Boston Children’s Hospital who works with SIDS families. “They’re especially severe because it’s small, small children at a dependent age. And it’s especially severe because there’s no true explanation.”

In recent years, however, some researchers and parents have hoped that increasingly sophisticated monitoring technologies might provide a crucial edge against an otherwise vexing syndrome. Monitoring sleeping infants for signs of cardiac or respiratory distress, the thinking goes, might offer warning signals for parents — and even let them intervene in the rare event that a baby begins to die.

Such hopes have helped to fuel a burgeoning market for high-tech baby monitors — often colloquially called SIDS monitors. These include devices like the Owlet Smart Sock, a Bluetooth-enabled sensor-equipped fabric sleeve, compact enough to slip over an infant’s tiny foot. When worn properly, the Utah-based health technology company suggests, the $299 garment will feed real-time data to parents’ phones on their baby’s heart rate, blood oxygen levels, and sleep patterns. Snuza, a South African company, makes a series of vital-data monitors that can clip to an infant’s diaper. Such monitors alarm when they detect a drop in a baby’s breathing or blood oxygen levels, and to date, each company has sold hundreds of thousands of units worldwide.

And yet, some scientists say, there is one thing that high-tech monitoring has not been proven to do: prevent SIDS.

Defending Against “Bad Behavior” Evictions in Nursing Facilities

From Justice in Aging: For Complete Post, Click Here…

Nursing facilities will often attempt to evict residents due to alleged “behaviors.” With few exceptions, these evictions are improper. Most “behaviors” stem from Alzheimer’s Disease or another dementia, and should be well within a nursing facility’s professional competence. In most cases, care planning rather than eviction is the proper response. It is important for advocates to understand common behavioral symptoms and ways of addressing them.

This webinar, Defending Against “Bad Behavior” Evictions in Nursing Facilities, will combine legal and dementia expertise. Legal services attorneys will discuss the relevant law and offer tips for representing clients facing eviction due to behavioral symptoms. Alzheimer’s Disease experts will discuss common behavioral symptoms and effective ways to deal with those symptoms.

Who should participate:
Attorneys, paralegals, and aging network professionals who serve older adults.

Alcohol Is the Enemy of the Bipolar Brain

By Gillian May: For Complete Post, Click Here…

Combining bipolar illness with alcoholism may make both conditions much worse.

Asa former mental health nurse and recovering alcoholic, I write a lot about alcohol use and mental health. To my mind, not enough has been done to educate the general public about the dangers of alcohol use combined with mental illness. I have witnessed many people fall through the cracks in the health care system and I myself have struggled with severe depression and anxiety that resolved when I quit drinking.

Experts have found that mental health disorders (particularly anxiety) are exacerbated by alcohol use. This is because the same symptom of alcohol withdrawal is anxiety, and this symptom can occur after only one episode of heavy drinking (defined by more than one drink for a woman and two drinks for a man on one occasion). Anxiety is a symptom that is often at the root of many mental health disorders. Research is beginning to show that anxiety may even plague those who drink moderately. However, when alcohol use turns to binge drinking (defined by more than four drinks for a woman and five for a man in one episode), anxiety symptoms become even more pronounced.

The effect of alcohol on the brain and nervous system can be severe. Alcohol withdrawal causes the nerves to be extra excitable, which can trigger anxiety, insomnia, paranoia, hallucinations, and even seizures. To mitigate these effects, one has to continue drinking to keep the nervous system somewhat in balance. Every time a person drinks heavily and then stops, their body goes into withdrawal. So we don’t have to be alcoholics to experience the adverse effects of withdrawal.

Unfortunately, mental illness also can harm our brains and nervous systems. Psychotic disorders alone can cause anxiety, paranoia, hallucinations, etc. When you mix in alcohol, the result is devastating.

Emergency Broadband Benefit (EBB) Program

From MDHHS: For Complete Post, Click Here…

The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS) announces it is working to help build consumer awareness about the Emergency Broadband Benefit, a new Federal Communications Commission (FCC) program. The temporary benefit will help to lower the cost of broadband service for eligible households during the on-going COVID-19 pandemic.

The $3.2B EBB program provides a discount of up to $50 per month toward broadband service for eligible households and up to $75 per month for qualifying households on qualifying Tribal lands. The benefit also provides up to a $100 per household discount toward a one-time purchase of a computer, laptop, or tablet if the household contributes more than $10 and less than $50 toward the purchase through a participating broadband provider.

A household is eligible if one member of the household meets at least one of the criteria below:

  • Has an income that is at or below 135% of the Federal Poverty Guidelines or participates in certain assistance programs, such as Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), Medicaid or the FCC’s Lifeline program;
  • Is approved to receive benefits under the free and reduced-price school lunch program or the school breakfast program, including through the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Community Eligibility Provision, in the 2019-2020 or 2020-2021 school year;
  • Received a Federal Pell Grant during the current award year;
  • Experienced a substantial loss of income through job loss or furlough since February 29, 2020 and the household had a total income in 2020 at or below $99,000 for single filers and $198,000 for joint filers; or
  • Meets the eligibility criteria for a participating provider’s existing low-income or COVID-19 program.

The HCBS Access Act: A Law 70 Years in the Making

From the Arc of the US: For Complete Post, Click Here…

The Arc of the United States was founded over 70 years ago by families who wanted their family members with intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDD) included in every aspect of life. Yet, most people with IDD had to leave their families and go live in institutions to receive the daily supports they needed because of their disability.

Our system of services and supports for people with IDD has come a long way since those days, but many people with IDD and their families still struggle to plan for the services that their loved ones will need to live a quality life in the community in the future. Many people with IDD wait years to get off the waiting list for services only to find few direct support professionals available to provide the services they need in the community and even more limited affordable and accessible housing.

Even when they do find a home in the community and a trusted professional to meet their needs, they often have to start their search all over again in six months or a year because the turnover in the field is so high. Or worse, they move to another state to be near family after their parent dies and end up on the waiting list for services all over again.

Congress has finally proposed a bill, the Home and Community-Based Services Access Act (HAA) to make changes to the system of support for people with disabilities to ensure community-based services are there for all people with disabilities who want to live their lives in the community, with their friends and family. Come learn about barriers in the current system, the proposed changes, and what you can do to make sure these changes become a reality!

Access Note: This webinar will be captioned. The webinar will be recorded and available to view on demand for those who register. Questions? Email

Jun 3, 2021 02:00 PM in Eastern Time (US and Canada)

ngd- Registration Form is through the link at the top of this post…

Georgia-based Disability Rights Groups Join Fight Against Georgia’s Anti-Voter Law S.B. 202

From ACLU: For Complete Post, Click Here…

Three prominent Georgia-based disability rights groups have joined pending litigation AME Church v. Kemp in an amended complaint that explains how S.B. 202 violates the Americans with Disabilities Act and the Rehabilitation Act.

This press release can also be found here:…
The plain language press release can be found here:…
The amended complaint can be found here:…
The press release announcing the filing of the litigation on March 30 can be found here:…

The organizations referenced in this video are linked below:

Get paid for expertise as a DSP! Become a Frontline Initiative Guest Editor

From The National Association of Direct Support Professionals: For Complete Post, Click Here…

The Editors of Frontline Initiative are seeking one Direct Support Professional (DSP) or Frontline Supervisor (FLS) to serve as a guest editor for each issue of Frontline Initiative. DSPs and FLSs selected for this role are encouraged to ask their supervisor for their support of this professional development opportunity. The 10-15-hour commitment pays $500.

Frontline Initiative covers the issues important to direct support professionals and supervisors who support people with intellectual, developmental and other disabilities in a variety of community settings. Each feature issue contains resources, perspectives, and strategies to advance the profession of direct support. Frontline Initiative is a joint publication between the Institute on Community Integration and the National Alliance for Direct Support Professionals.

Learn more about Frontline Initiative by clicking the “Learn More” button below.
Learn More

An Airline Damaged Her Wheelchair So Disabled Social Media Took Care of It

By Seth McBride: For Complete Post, Click Here…

Last weekend, three wheelchair-using friends set out from New York City to vacation and meet up with a few other friends in Phoenix, Arizona. Gabrielle deFiebre, Brianna Scalesse and Lucy Richardson were fully vaccinated and excited to get out of NYC and enjoy some of the social life we’ve all been missing for the past year-plus. But when they got off their Delta Airlines flight, they were met with a awful yet all too common surprise: the power assist wheels on deFiebre’s chair had been destroyed along the way.

DeFiebre was obviously upset. For many quads who use power assist wheels, it can be next to impossible to get around independently without them, especially in an unfamiliar city. But then something great happened. After Scalesse posted the video on TikTok, it immediately started gaining traction on social media, with thousands of people watching, liking and commenting on it. Gina Schuh, a disability advocate and fellow quad who lives in Phoenix, happened to have the same model of power assist wheels and offered them for deFiebre to use while she was in town for the weekend.

With deFiebre mobile again, the group set out to enjoy themselves as much as they’d been planning on before some careless airline employees messed it all up.

What’s more, while they were in Phoenix, disabled social media went after Delta to put the pressure on to get them to replace deFiebre’s wheels. Just check out the hundreds of people who flooded an entirely unrelated Instagram post from Delta with comments about deFiebre’s situation.

When the Organ Procurement Team Notices the Patient Is Still Alive

From Medical Futility Blog: For Complete Post, Click Here…

Here is new disturbing case from Duke University where the organ procurement team noticed the patient was still alive. 

The case authors rightly recommend that the organ procurement team should have left the room immediately and should have withdrawn from the case. They further rightly recommend that the patient’s death should not have been actively hastened.

During organ procurement the patient’s aortic and renal arteries started pumping and pulsing, and her cardiopulmonary activities were back to unexpected levels. The organ procurement surgery was stopped. The patient was then given Fentanyl and Lorazepam. Subsequently, she was pronounced dead again 18 minutes after she was initially pronounced dead. 

After a complete autopsy, the cause of death was determined to be acute Fentanyl toxicity due to a Fentanyl injection in the hospital. The manner of death was determined to be homicide.

While cardiac activity rarely resumes after 4 minutes and it rarely resumes for very long, those are averages. Sometimes, there is meaningful spontaneous resuscitation. This case illustrates that we are willing to accept less than 100% certainty of death determination in order to maximize the quantity and quality of procurable organs.  

New technique links lithium distribution in the brain to depression

By Rich Haridy: For Complete Post, Click Here…

A new technique is allowing researchers to measure endogenous lithium concentrations in the human brain for the very first time. To test the technique researchers compared lithium levels in post-mortem brain tissue between a suicidal subject and a pair of healthy controls, revealing differences that affirmed the link between lithium levels and mental health.

Alongside being a vital component of batteries, lithium is perhaps best known as a treatment for bipolar disorder. Despite lithium’s proven mood-stabilizing benefits it can quickly become toxic if administered in high doses.

Epidemiological studies have previously found local communities with high natural levels of lithium in their water supply tend to report lower rates of suicide, dementia and violent crime. This had led some scientists to suggest adding trace amounts of lithium to water supplies could improve a community’s mental health.

The new proof-of-concept study compared brain tissue samples from three deceased subjects. One of the subjects died from suicide, while the other two died from natural causes and served as controls. The primary goal was to investigate the ratio of lithium concentration between white and gray matter.

“We saw that there was significantly more lithium present in the white matter of the healthy person than in the gray matter,” explains Gernhäuser. “By contrast, the suicidal patient had a balanced distribution, without a measurable systematic difference.”