Sudden Infant Death Syndrome

Sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS) is marked by the sudden death of an infant that is unexpected by medical history, and remains unexplained after a thorough forensic autopsy and a detailed death scene investigation. An infant is at the highest risk for SIDS during sleep, which is why it is sometimes referred to by the terms cot death or crib death. The cause of SIDS is unknown, but some characteristics associated with the syndrome have been identified. The unique signature characteristic of SIDS is its lognormal age distribution that spares infants shortly after birth, the time of maximal risk for almost all other causes of non-trauma infant death. Other non-unique characteristics are its ~50% male excess and the fact that the caregivers were unaware in the preceeding 24-hours that the infant was at risk of imminent sudden death. There are many risk factors and medical causal relationships proposed for SIDS. Infants sleeping prone or exposed to tobacco smoke are at greater risk than infants sleeping supine or unexposed to tobacco smoke, respectively. Infanticide and child abuse cases may be misdiagnosed as SIDS due to lack of evidence. Accidental suffocations are sometimes misdiagnosed as SIDS.[citation needed] Genetics play a role, as SIDS is more prevalent in males. Safe sleep environments that reduce the risk of SIDS include proper ventilation, and putting infants on their back to sleep. Pacifiers and tummy time can help reduce known risk factors.

This text uses material from Wikipedia licensed under CC BY-SA

Latest Spotlight News

Mathematical model seeks functional cure for HIV

(Medical Xpress)—Individuals with the natural ability to control HIV infection in the absence of treatment are referred to as elite controllers (ECs). Such individuals maintain undetectable viral loads ...

Neurons constantly rewrite their DNA

Johns Hopkins scientists have discovered that neurons are risk takers: They use minor "DNA surgeries" to toggle their activity levels all day, every day. Since these activity levels are important in learning, ...

Finding the body clock's molecular reset button

An international team of scientists has discovered what amounts to a molecular reset button for our internal body clock. Their findings reveal a potential target to treat a range of disorders, from sleep ...

Researchers bring order to big data of human biology

A multi-year study led by researchers from the Simons Center for Data Analysis (SCDA) and major universities and medical schools has broken substantial new ground, establishing how genes work together within ...