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Sudden Unexplained Infant Death/Sudden Infant Death Syndrome


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Information on SUID/SIDS, risks, prevention and recommendations for caregivers.

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Sudden Unexplained Infant Death/Sudden Infant Death Syndrome

  2. 2. Includes infant deaths due to the following causes: • accidental suffocation and strangulation in bed • other accidental suffocation and strangulation • sudden infant death syndrome • unknown causes
  3. 3. • • • • • 2004 – 0 2005 – 2 2006 – 7 2007 – 4 2008 – 3
  4. 4. • A sub-group of SUID • Sudden death of an infant under one year of age that remains unexplained after a complete investigation, which includes an autopsy, examination of the death scene, and review of the symptoms or illnesses the infant had prior to dying and any other pertinent medical and family history.
  5. 5. Some SIDS babies are born with brain abnormalities that make them vulnerable to sudden death during infancy. Studies of SIDS victims reveal that many SIDS infants have abnormalities in a portion of the brain that is involved in control of breathing and waking during sleep. These abnormalities may stem from prenatal exposure to a toxic substance, or lack of a vital compound in the prenatal environment, such as sufficient oxygen.
  6. 6. • Mothers who smoke during or after pregnancy • Mothers who are <20 years old at the time of first pregnancy • Mothers who had no or late prenatal care • Mothers with too short an interval between pregnancies • Premature or low birth weight babies and multiples • African American infants are nearly two-and-a-half times more likely to die of SIDS than white infants, and Native American babies are approximately three times as likely to die from SIDS. • Male gender • Fall/winter season • Higher parity
  7. 7. SIDS is the leading cause of death in infants between 1 to 12 months old. Most SIDS deaths occur when a baby is between 2 and 4 months old. Ninety percent of SIDS victims die before 6 months old. The diagnosis of SIDS is not commonly used after 1 year old.
  9. 9. • Placing babies on their backs to sleep is the single most important step that parents and other caregivers can take. • Infants who fall asleep on their stomachs should be gently turned onto their backs. • Studies show that placing babies on their backs have reduced their total SIDS deaths by more than 50%. • Side sleeping position is not a safe alternative. Babies that roll from their side to their tummy are 18 times more likely to die of SIDS.
  10. 10. Trachea (air) Esophagus (food) When a baby is on his/her back, the trachea (airway) lies on top of the esophagus (food path). Anything (spit-up, food) that is in the esophagus will have to go AGAINST GRAVITY to be inhaled into the trachea (airway). Picture courtesy of Dr. Fern Hauck
  11. 11. • Sleep is lighter. • They awaken more easily.
  12. 12. • Parents should make sure their baby sleeps on a firm, flat mattress in a crib that meets current safety standards. • Avoid using soft, fluffy or loose bedding or other objects in the crib, and should not use pillows, sheepskins or comforters under the baby. • Bumpers are not necessary, and soft or pillow-like bumpers should be avoided. • Consider using a sleeper or other sleep clothing as an alternative to blankets, with no other covering. Infants under 1 year of age should not be placed to sleep on an adult bed, waterbed, sofa or with stuffed toys or pillows.
  13. 13. • Do not share a sleep surface. • Bring baby into bed to feed and cuddle, put place them in a separate, safe sleep area alongside your bed when its time to go to sleep. • Infants should not sleep with parents whose instincts are impaired by exhaustion, drug or alcohol abuse, or who are smokers. • There are also dangers connected with infants sharing a bed with brothers, sisters, or relatives other than the baby’s mother. • Sofas and chairs are particularly dangerous environments for shared sleep.
  14. 14. Among Black and White women, frequent bed sharing was more likely among those who-» <25 years of age or >34 years of age » Unmarried » U.S. born » Experienced partner-associated stress » Breastfed for > 4 weeks Among Black women, frequent bed sharing was also more likely among those who-» Started PNC after the 1st trimester or had no prenatal care » Breastfed for ≤ 4 weeks » Experienced depression during or after pregnancy
  15. 15. » Black mothers who experienced depression were 7.5 times more likely to bed share than Black mothers who did not experience depression.
  16. 16. • Breastfeeding has been shown to be good for babies by building their immunity against illness and infections, in addition to other benefits. Mothers should be encouraged to breastfeed exclusively for at least the first six months if at all possible. • Breastfeeding can reduce the risk of death for infants in their first year of life. (Up to 720 postneonatal deaths in the U.S. each year. )
  17. 17. • Mothers who smoke during pregnancy are three times more likely to have a SIDS baby, and exposure to passive smoke from smoking by mothers, fathers, and others around the baby after its born doubles their risk of SIDS. Parents should be sure to keep their babies in a smoke-free environment. • Studies have found that the risk of SIDS rises with each additional smoker in the home, the numbers of cigarettes smoked a day, and the length of the infant’s exposure to cigarette smoke. • Components of smoke are believed to interfere with an infant’s developing lungs and nervous system, and to disrupt a baby’s ability to wake from sleep.
  18. 18. • Recent research has shown that pacifiers can significantly reduce a baby’s risk for SIDS. Experts recommend providing the baby with a pacifier EVERY time they are placed down to sleep. • One theory suggests that pacifier use might help to keep the tongue positioned forward, keeping the airways open. • On the other hand, pacifiers may stimulate the upper airway muscles and saliva production, possibly triggering brain activity and ability to arouse from sleep. Increased arousability is seen in infants who usually sleep with a pacifier, even if the pacifier is not being used.
  19. 19. • Babies should be kept warm, but they should not be allowed to get too warm. An overheated baby is more likely to go into a deep sleep from which it may be hard to wake up. Keep the temperature in the baby's room at a level that feels comfortable to a lightly clothed adult and avoid overdressing the baby.
  20. 20. • Babies who routinely sleep on their backs and are unaccustomed to sleeping on their stomachs are at a significantly increased risk of SIDS when placed prone by a well intentioned but ill-informed relative or caregiver. Be sure to communicate Back to Sleep information to baby sitters, daycare providers, grandparents and everyone else who cares for your infant.
  21. 21. • As much "tummy time" as possible while the infant is awake and being observed is recommended for motor development of the upper body muscles. In addition, tummy time may also help prevent flat spots from developing on the back of the baby's head. Never leave your baby unattended during tummy-time. If the baby tires or is sleepy, place them on their back in a safe sleep area.
  22. 22. • Many parents do not believe that the supine position reduces the risk of SIDS • Infant safety and infant comfort are competing reasons for how a parent places an infant for sleep • Many parents place infants prone for safety reasons • Many African-American parents roomshare for economic reasons (no other place for the baby to sleep) • An important reason that African-American parents roomshare and bedshare is their belief that this is the best way to keep their infant safe • Efforts to encourage roomsharing without bedsharing must address parental concerns about safety
  23. 23. Task Force on Sudden Infant Death Syndrome. "The Changing Concept of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome: Diagnostic." Pediatrics 115.5 (2005): 1245-255. Print. "SIDS Q & A." Web. < sidsqa.html>.