Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Sudden infant death syndrome: collaborative approach needed

02.11.2007
Tackling sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS) requires a collaborative effort that engages health professionals and policymakers, researchers, medical examiners and coroners, grief counsellors and family support agencies, and most of all families and communities. These are the conclusions of authors of a Seminar in this week’s edition of The Lancet.

SIDS is defined as “the sudden death of an infant under one year of age, which remains unexplained after a thorough case investigation, including performance of a complete autopsy, examination of the death scene, and review of the clinical history.” SIDS is the leading cause of death for infants aged between one month and one year in developed countries. Lowest rates of SIDS in these countries are in Japan and The Netherlands (0.09 and 0.1 per 1000 live births, respectively). The UK rate is 0.41, the USA 0.57, and the highest rate for developed countries is in New Zealand, at 0.8 per 1000 livebirths.

Dr Rachel Moon, Children’s National medical Centre, Washington, DC, USA and colleagues say that campaigns to place children on their backs during sleep have massively reduced SIDS incidence, by between 50-90%. The age when infants are at highest risk is between two and four months, and 90% of SIDS deaths happen in the first six months of life. Boys are more likely than girls to die from SIDS, at a ratio of 60:40. Ethnic differences are also risk factors for SIDS. Infants in the USA who are African American, Native American or Alaska Native have SIDS rates two to three times the national average. Aboriginal Australian and Maori New Zealander infants are also at higher risk – with Maori infants six times more likely than the New Zealand population average to die from SIDS.

The authors discuss other SIDS risk factors, including maternal smoking during pregnancy. They say: “If in-utero smoke exposure was eliminated, a third of SIDS deaths could possibly be prevented.” As well as infants sleeping on their side or front, other SIDS risk factors include soft bedding and surfaces, warmer room temperatures, multiple layers of clothing or blankets, and bed sharing. The risk from bed sharing is particularly high when there are multiple bed sharers, when the infant is younger than 11 weeks, and when bed sharing occurs for the entire night. When the adult(s) sharing the bed is overtired or has consumed alcohol , this risk could increase further. However, there is growing evidence that room sharing without bed sharing – eg. having the infants crib in the same room – is associated with reduced risk of SIDS. Use of a pacifier (dummy) at sleep time has also been shown to reduce SIDS risk – even when the pacifier may become dislodged from the mouth shortly after sleep onset. This displacement could disrupt sleep and make the child more easily aroused from sleep, allowing increased responsiveness to a life-threatening challenge.

Infants in child-care settings make up 20% of SIDS deaths; the reasons for this are unclear. A large proportion of these deaths are in the first week of child care; thus stress and sleep disruption could be contributory factors.

Other risk factors discussed are low birth weight/premature birth, breastfeeding, and recurrence of SIDS in siblings. Siblings of SIDS victims are more likely to die from SIDS themselves than the general population. Although homicide should be considered as a possibility, a SIDS death in subsequent sibling is six times more likely to be SIDS than homicide. Pathophysiology of SIDS, autopsy and genetic factors are also discussed in the Seminar.

The authors say: “By definition, SIDS is a diagnosis of exclusion. Protocols for standardised autopsies and death scene investigations in sudden unexpected infant deaths have been published. However, there is wide variability in both the content and frequency with which these protocols are implemented across jurisdictions, both within countries and across different countries.”

They also say that the messages of established risk reduction interventions, such as infants sleeping on their backs and avoidance of smoke exposure in-utero, should be continually reinforced to new generations of health providers, parents, and carers. The American Academy of Pediatrics SIDS risk reduction recommendations, 2005 are also discussed.

The authors conclude that monitoring trends of SIDS is crucial. They say: “Continued research, surveillance, risk reduction campaigns, and standardisation of autopsy and scene investigation protocols and classification of deaths are all essential pieces to illuminating the SIDS puzzle and reaching our shared goal of eliminating it as a cause of infant death.”

Tony Kirby | alfa
Further information:
http://multimedia.thelancet.com/pdf/press/Seminar.pdf

More articles from Health and Medicine:

nachricht Chronic stress induces fatal organ dysfunctions via a new neural circuit
21.08.2017 | Hokkaido University

nachricht New malaria analysis method reveals disease severity in minutes
14.08.2017 | University of British Columbia

All articles from Health and Medicine >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Fizzy soda water could be key to clean manufacture of flat wonder material: Graphene

Whether you call it effervescent, fizzy, or sparkling, carbonated water is making a comeback as a beverage. Aside from quenching thirst, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign have discovered a new use for these "bubbly" concoctions that will have major impact on the manufacturer of the world's thinnest, flattest, and one most useful materials -- graphene.

As graphene's popularity grows as an advanced "wonder" material, the speed and quality at which it can be manufactured will be paramount. With that in mind,...

Im Focus: Exotic quantum states made from light: Physicists create optical “wells” for a super-photon

Physicists at the University of Bonn have managed to create optical hollows and more complex patterns into which the light of a Bose-Einstein condensate flows. The creation of such highly low-loss structures for light is a prerequisite for complex light circuits, such as for quantum information processing for a new generation of computers. The researchers are now presenting their results in the journal Nature Photonics.

Light particles (photons) occur as tiny, indivisible portions. Many thousands of these light portions can be merged to form a single super-photon if they are...

Im Focus: Circular RNA linked to brain function

For the first time, scientists have shown that circular RNA is linked to brain function. When a RNA molecule called Cdr1as was deleted from the genome of mice, the animals had problems filtering out unnecessary information – like patients suffering from neuropsychiatric disorders.

While hundreds of circular RNAs (circRNAs) are abundant in mammalian brains, one big question has remained unanswered: What are they actually good for? In the...

Im Focus: RAVAN CubeSat measures Earth's outgoing energy

An experimental small satellite has successfully collected and delivered data on a key measurement for predicting changes in Earth's climate.

The Radiometer Assessment using Vertically Aligned Nanotubes (RAVAN) CubeSat was launched into low-Earth orbit on Nov. 11, 2016, in order to test new...

Im Focus: Scientists shine new light on the “other high temperature superconductor”

A study led by scientists of the Max Planck Institute for the Structure and Dynamics of Matter (MPSD) at the Center for Free-Electron Laser Science in Hamburg presents evidence of the coexistence of superconductivity and “charge-density-waves” in compounds of the poorly-studied family of bismuthates. This observation opens up new perspectives for a deeper understanding of the phenomenon of high-temperature superconductivity, a topic which is at the core of condensed matter research since more than 30 years. The paper by Nicoletti et al has been published in the PNAS.

Since the beginning of the 20th century, superconductivity had been observed in some metals at temperatures only a few degrees above the absolute zero (minus...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Call for Papers – ICNFT 2018, 5th International Conference on New Forming Technology

16.08.2017 | Event News

Sustainability is the business model of tomorrow

04.08.2017 | Event News

Clash of Realities 2017: Registration now open. International Conference at TH Köln

26.07.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Nagoya physicists resolve long-standing mystery of structure-less transition

21.08.2017 | Materials Sciences

Chronic stress induces fatal organ dysfunctions via a new neural circuit

21.08.2017 | Health and Medicine

Scientists from the MSU studied new liquid-crystalline photochrom

21.08.2017 | Materials Sciences

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>