The Pepi-Pod study: Overnight video, oximetry and thermal environment while using an in-bed sleep device for sudden unexpected death in infancy prevention

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Abstract

Aim

The aim of this study was to identify the potential risks and benefits of sleeping infants in a Pepi-Pod distributed to families with high risk of sudden unexpected death in infancy compared to a bassinet.

Methods

Forty-five mostly indigenous Māori mothers who were referred by local health providers to receive a Pepi-Pod were surveyed at recruitment, 1 and 3 months. A sleep study at 1 month included infrared video, oximetry and temperature measures.

Results

When compared with 89 historical bassinet controls, an intention-to-treat analysis of questionnaires showed no increase in direct bed sharing but demonstrated significantly less sharing of the maternal bedroom at both interviews, with the majority of those not sleeping in the maternal bedroom, actually sleeping in the living room. The 1 month ‘as-used’ analysis showed poorer maternal sleep quality. The ‘as-used’ analysis of video data (24 Pepi-Pod and 113 bassinet infants) also showed no increase in direct bed sharing, head covering or prone/side sleep position. Differences in oxygen saturation were not significant, but heart rate was higher in the Pepi-Pod infants by 8.37 bpm (95% confidence interval 4.40, 12.14). Time in the thermal comfort zone was not different between groups despite Pepi-Pod infants being situated in significantly warmer rooms.

Conclusions

Overall, we found that most differences in infant risk behaviours in a Pepi-Pod compared to a bassinet were small, with confidence intervals excluding meaningful differences. We noted poorer maternal sleep quality at 1 month. Higher infant heart rates in the Pepi-Pod group may be related to higher room temperatures. The Pepi-Pod appears physiologically safe but is associated with lower reported maternal sleep quality.

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