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Sudden Infant Death Syndrome

  • By: Deborah Davidson
  • In: Encyclopedia of Motherhood
  • Edited by: Andrea O'Reilly
  • Subject:Sociology of Gender, Parenting, Maternal Health

Sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS), also known as crib death or cot death, is the most common cause of death in infants between 1 month and 1 year of age in developed countries. Deaths from SIDS are the unexpected deaths, of apparently healthy infants, that cannot be explained by other causes after a complete review of medical history, an investigation of the death scene, and an autopsy. SIDS diagnoses are based on the exclusion of other causes of death.

There are no specific routine autopsy findings required for diagnosis. However, some common observations have been found to include tiny pinpoint hemorrhages that are related to some external obstruction of the airways, other evidence of low-grade asphyxia, and congestion of the lungs and swelling or fluid in ...

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