Four Elizabeth, NJ infants died within an 8 day period

My sincere condolences to the families and friends of these beautiful babies. My heart goes out to you and my prayers are with you all during this time.

When four infants, each less than four months old, who live within a mile radius of each other pass away in their cribs during an eight day time span – someone has got to be putting more clues together as to why this has happened other than the “only links” being that they were found in their cribs in the morning and that a relative had called the police.

Please tell me that the medical records for these children have been pulled from the hospitals in which they were born or treated since birth, pediatrician’s office(s) and health clinics. PLEASE TELL ME that they have cross referenced each child’s vaccination record against the others to compare LOT NUMBERS for each and every vaccine they received including the Hep B shot that they most likely received before leaving the hospital after their birth.

PLEASE DO NOT TELL ME that such an event is a coincidence and that these babies died of SIDS (sudden infant death syndrome). Babies just don’t die for no apparent reason.

DO NOT IGNORE the fact that the one baby USED TO THROW UP MILK.

Four infants in Elizabeth die within 8-day period

By Julie O’Connor/The Star-Ledger
September 22, 2009, 9:15PM
ELIZABETH — Four infants in Elizabeth, all less than 4 months old, have died within an eight-day period this month, and authorities are at a loss to explain why.

The only links between the four — two boys and two girls: they were discovered in their cribs, in the morning, and lived within a mile of each other. And in each case, a relative called police to report that a baby had stopped breathing, authorities said.

Police have found no signs of foul play in any of the cases and the Union County Prosecutor’s Office said the deaths appear to be unrelated. One of the babies was born at Trinitas Hospital in Elizabeth. It was not immediately know where the others were born.

Police Sgt. John Maloney called the deaths “totally unusual.”

“If we have four in a year, it’s a lot,” he said.

Barbara Ostfeld, program director for the SIDS Center of New Jersey, said it’s too early to determine if the deaths are significant or a “statistical blip.”

“It’s important to wait for the final diagnosis,” said Ostfeld, a professor of pediatrics at Robert Wood Johnson Medical School. “If there are any questions or clusters of concern, the county medical officer would get involved.”

Autopsies have been conducted on three of the babies but the medical examiner is awaiting results of toxicology reports before making a “formal determination” on the cause of death, according to the prosecutor’s office.

The first death — a 3-month-old African American girl — was reported Sept. 12 around 8 a.m. by the baby’s mother who lived on Broadway in downtown Elizabeth. The next day, two more deaths were reported, each roughly a mile from the first: Ray’son Clayton, a 2-month-old African American boy on Port Avenue, and a 4-month-old Hispanic boy on Loomis Street. Last Sunday morning, authorities received a call from a home on Hand Place that a 2-month-old Hispanic girl was not breathing.

In an interview today at her Port Avenue apartment, Tiffany McCray, Ray’son’s mother, said that on Sunday morning she went to change her son’s diaper and give him a bottle, but “when I turned him over, he was dead.”

“Some people look at me as a bad mother. I’m not a bad mother,” said McCray, 23, who has three other children. “Knowing my baby was not the only baby (who died) did kind of make me feel a little better because I thought I did something wrong.”

McCray said her son was born at Trinitas Hospital in Elizabeth and had no obvious health problems.

“I don’t know what happened,” she said. “He used to throw up milk but that was the only problem he had.”

She said Ray’son’s last doctor’s appointment was in August and the baby, who she said weighed 8 pounds, was in perfect health.

In cases involving children under one year old where no cause of death is determined after an autopsy, a medical examiner may classify the death as Sudden Infant Death Syndrome, or SIDS, health experts said. The diagnosis essentially means all known medical explanations have been ruled out.

In 2006, the last year for which data is available, 34 of 632 infant deaths in New Jersey were classified as SIDS, state health officials said. In Union County, there were 13 SIDS deaths between 2000 and 2006, including three in Elizabeth, health officials said.

Ostfeld, the SIDS program director, said some factors can elevate the risk of sudden infant death, such as a baby sleeping on its stomach, exposure to secondhand smoke, or bedding that is too soft or overheating.

In addition, babies of mothers who are young and/or poor who may not receive sufficient health care, causing their child to be at a higher risk. African American babies face the greatest risk for SIDs, followed by Latino babies, she said.

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