SIDS, or sudden infant death syndrome, is a term applied to the unexplained death of an infant between the ages of one month old and one year old. In cases of sudden infant death syndrome, which is also known as cot death in the United Kingdom or crib death in the United States, the deceased infant is otherwise quite healthy. Sixty-one percent of SIDS victims are male infants, and the period between two months of age and four months old pose the highest risk for a SIDS induced death. Typically, the death of a little one is labeled SIDS after the completion of three steps fails to turn up any compelling counter evidence. Those three steps are:
•the completion of an autopsy
•investigation of the scene of death and the circumstances surrounding death
•an in-depth look at the medical history of the infant and the infant's family
Sudden infant death syndrome is the cause of fifty out of every one hundred thousand deaths in the United States-that leaves a long SIDS network of grieving family members who often gripple with issues of guilt and sorrow at the seemingly unpreventable death of an infant. In fact, there is not yet a surefire way known to completely alleviate the risk of sudden infant death syndrome. Although there are several risk factors that have been identified as trumping up the odds of a deadly experience with SIDS. Young victims of SIDS do not usually show any signs of suffering but are often found dead after being put down to sleep by Mommy or Daddy. There are at least three medical conditions that mimic the M.O of suddent infant death syndrome. Such disorder are medium chain acyl dehydrogenase deficiency, infant botulism, and long QT syndrome.
Risk Factors Affiliated With Sudden Infant Death Syndrome
The risk factors for a sudden infant death are sown long before a baby ever leaves the womb. For example, there are a number of prenatal circumstances that can increase the existing risk of a SIDS induced death. Some of those factors are:
•a lack of prenatal care
•use of tobacco, alcohol, and other addictive narcotics
•lack of adequate nutrition
•pregnancies pushed too close together: less than one year between pregnancies
Now couple those prenatal SIDS risk factors with post birth risky business, and you've got a recipe for disaster. Low birth weight, smoke inhaltion, and putting babies down to sleep on their tummies are some post-natal sudden infant death risk factors. Other SIDS risks after birth include:
•lack of breastfeeding
•excess bed padding
The Latest On SIDS
The October 2006 edition of the Journal of the American Medical Association outlined the contents of a survey which made a few key conceptions about victims of SIDS. The study, which examined the brains of thirty-one victims of sudden unexplaniable infant deaths in addition to ten babies who died of other causes, found that babies that die as a result of sudden infant death syndrome suffer from brain abnormalities that are intrical in functions like breathing, blood pressure, and arousal. The National Institutes of Health (NIH) footed the bill for the study and have cited it's findings as the most comprehensive information to date on the differences in the brains of victims of SIDS and other infants.