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Infection – another piece to the SIDS/SUDI puzzle

It’s called sudden unexplained death in infants (SUDI), sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS), cot death, or crib death and it’s every mother’s worst nightmare.

About 35% of post-perinatal deaths is due to SIDS/SUDI. It has been linked to many factors including smoking and alcohol abuse by mothers, low birth rates, toxic gases, cold weather, and wrong sleeping conditions.

Last year, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation awarded a USD 11 million dollars to the non-profit organization First Candle for a crib distribution program with the hope that better and safer cribs can prevent SIDS.

A recent study in the UK found high levels of the bacterial species Staphylococcus aureus and Escherichia coli during autopsy of infants who died of unknown causes. These findings indicate that infection may be another piece of the puzzle that is SIDS.

The study:

Weber et al. Infection and sudden unexpected death in infancy: a systematic retrospective case review. The Lancet 2008 ; 371:1848-1853

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