Quickly, let’s touch base about SIDS.
SIDS is sudden infant death
syndrome n children.
It’s a sudden death in a child under a
year of age with no identifiable cause.
This is not associated with BRUEs or ALTEs.
This is just really bad luck in many cases,
although there are some things we can identify
that might put kids at increased risk.
So this is the number one
cause of death in infants
between 1 and 12 months of
age in the United States.
The average is 11 weeks.
The peak incidence is
two to four months.
And more than 90% happen
before the six month period.
And here, you can see a list of
potential causes over the years
and you can see that what we’ve done is
we’ve effectively reduced the rate of SIDS.
Look at that green line and
how much it dropped off
through public intervention in
preventing this problem from happening.
So what are the things we’ve talked about?
First, parents shouldn’t smoke.
Smoking around your child
increases their risk of death.
Sudden death is more likely
among kids whose parents smoke.
The reason is that the smoke and even if
you can just smell it, that’s enough,
irritates the tonsils and the
adenoids in the young infants,
they can grow and they may have
an obstruction of their airway
that they can’t overcome while
they’re trying to sleep.
Next, don’t co-sleep with your infant.
Parents rolling over on
infants is one of the
top causes of sudden
infant death syndrome.
The parent has suffocated the infant.
Parents should know that it’s okay
to have a bassinet right by the bed
and there are all kinds of different
contraptions that they sell
where the baby can safely sleep
after the mom has breastfed.
And it’s convenient to have
it right next to the bed
because obviously mom is
very tired and has to
breastfeed many times
throughout the night.
Next is unsafe sleeping practices
or sleep hygiene of the crib.
The baby should not have
pillows and excessive blankets
or stuffed animals
or other things.
It should be simple empty crib
and the baby could be swaddled
or sleep in a nightie.
So if you see patients whose parents
have suffered with a child with SIDS,
it’s important to ask them
about a few questions.
First, ask for risk
factors for child abuse.
Remember, it’s not uncommon
for kids to have shaken baby,
have brain damage and then die and there
won’t be any obvious external source.
There are cases of parents who
had multiple SIDS deaths.
They are all described
as SIDS and then later,
they found out that this was a
case of recurrent child abuse.
Ask about a history of SIDS in the family
because that may increase the
likelihood of not only child abuse,
but also certain metabolic conditions which
may be predisposing infants to SIDS.
A post-mortem is always
indicated in SIDS babies
to try and find out what caused it,
both genetic or child abuse cases.
And grief counselling is
Patients who suffer from SIDS, parents,
will never recover their entire lives.
And grief counselling is critical to
helping them get back on their feet
and more productive in terms of
getting on with their lives.
So that’s my review of ALTE,
BRUE and SIDS in infants.
Thanks for your time.