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Sudden Infant Death Syndrome. SIDS research paper, needing proofreading or general comments


Katherine DiVall
English 102
Professor Hickman
August 12, 2016
Rough Draft

Sudden Infant Death Syndrome

Sudden Infant Death Syndrome, or SIDS, is an unexplained death of an infant, under one year of age that is diagnosed after an autopsy where no signs of distress or illness are present. It is simply that the baby does not wake up. In recent years there have been numerous studies that suggest there are certain risk factors for SIDS and a list of commonalities in infant deaths this way. Parents of children are generally thought to have sparked this spike in case studies, seeing the horrible effects on their family life. The most significant discovery states that babies who sleep on their backs are less likely to be a victim of SIDS, "mortality from SIDS has declined since the recommendation that infants are not placed prone to sleep. SIDS mortality is higher in infants born preterm than those born at term"(Thompson & Mitchell). Once the information from this study surfaced around there was a significant decrease in SIDS cases. Sudden infant death syndrome cases can be drastically reduced if the parents are properly informed of the risk factors and give children environments which will set them up for ideal healthy sleeping conditions and therefore lives.

Sudden Infant Death Syndrome has very specific risk factors associated with it. According to the American Academy of Pediatrics "Many infants die during sleep from unsafe sleep environments. Some of these deaths are from entrapment, suffocation and strangulation. Some infants die from sudden infant death syndrome. However, there are ways for parents to keep their sleeping baby safe"(HealthyChildren.org). Due to the horrific effects that this syndrome has on parents and family members, research has been extensive and lengthy to find answers about preventative measures that can be taken. Mayo Clinic has, in recent years, released a list of risk factors and common causes of SIDS including: physical factors like brain abnormalities, low birth weight and respiratory infection; also including environmental factors like sleeping on ones stomach, a soft surface or with parents. (MayoClinic.org) Preterm infants show the most affinity for contracting SIDS and thus parents must be more cautious when handling their sleeping arrangements. In a case study done by Thompson and Mitchell they proved this by doing a sleep study with over one hundred infants, and found, "SIDS mortality has decreased by similar proportions in term and preterm infants, but preterm birth still remains a risk factor for SIDS. Risk factors for SIDS were similar in preterm and term infants, except for parity"(Thompson and Mitchell). This is again reiterating that infants must sleep in a flat surface, on their back, with no loose blankets, to have the least amount of risk factors present for SIDS. Making sure that sleep conditions are consistent with doctor recommendations will ensure health of the infant. Risk factors for SIDS are very specific and easy to follow, but can be easily over looked when the stress of raising a child is factored into the equation.

Having pre-existing medical complications is also a serious issue to consider when discussing risk factors of SIDS. Respiratory illnesses are especially a cause for concern, this was shown in a sleep study done by Earl Diamond and Steven Weinstein they found that "SIDS victims demonstrated either an unusual amount of apnea/obstruction during nutritive feeding or apneaic pauses during sleep"(2016). This fact demonstrates that pre-existing respiratory complications can prove deadly in infants under one year of age, and especially towards infants born preterm with existing respiratory complications. So long as these high risk infants are kept under close medical supervision, their likelihood of survival is quite high. To protect their child some parents think that having their child near them while they sleep is the safest place, but really it is quite the opposite. Bed-sharing with infants is unique topic to SIDS and "environmental or care taking factors have been shown to exert powerful effects on the susceptibility to SIDS, manipulations that facilitate arousability might be protective against SIDS"(Mosko & Sarah). This study showed that is is a risk for parents to have their child sleep in the same bed as them just as much as it is a risk for a child to lay on their stomach while sleeping. The risk factors for SIDS are very clear and effective for prevention if done properly and consistently.

One positive thing to be said about SIDS is that it is very preventable and approachable through modern medicine. There has been enough time pass that scientists and doctors now understand what gives SIDs more and less likelihood of occurring in infants. Data can be found and shown in studies done by prestigious universities like Georgetown University that, statistically, SIDS is preventable is the parents take time into their day to make precautions regarding sleeping arrangements and medical care. Data makes it possible for healthcare professionals to target certain demographics of people on sleep techniques and environmental risk factors of SIDS for their newborns. This is helpful when considering that "The SIDS rate remains significantly higher among certain racial and ethnic groups, including non-hispanic blacks and American Indian/Alaska Natives"(Statistics, 2016). Some cultural differences can prove to be barriers when describing and tackling issues such as SIDS. One beneficial way in which SIDS has been prevented is through governmental campaigns, according to a recent NPR interview of a Detroit coroner, "The Back to sleep' public health campaign that followed proved hugely successful. As back-sleeping rates soared, the SIDS rate dropped. By 2000, it had fallen 50 percent. But since then, progress has stalled"(Re-thinking SIDS, 2016). This shows that although progress has been made surrounding SIDS research and prevention tactics, further research needs to be done in order to have more beneficial outcomes in America as well as the world.

Works Cited
Mosko, Sarah, et al. "Infant sleep architecture during bedsharing and possible implications for SIDS." Sleep 19.9 (1996): 677-684.
"Reduce the Risk of SIDS." HealthyChildren.org. American Academy of Pediatrics, 21 Nov. 2015. Web. 18 July 2016
"Rethinking SIDS: Many Deaths No Longer A Mystery." Interview. Audio blog post. NPR.org. All Things Considered, 15 July 2011. Web. 15 July 2016.
"Statistics." Statistics. Georgetown University Center for Education in Maternal and Child Health, n.d. Web. 15 July 2016.
Steinschneider, Alfred, Steven L. Weinstein, and Earl Diamond. "The Sudden Infant Death Syndrome and Apnea/Obstruction During Neonatal Sleep and Feeding." Table of Contents. American Academy of Pediatrics, Dec. 1982. Web. 15 July 2016.

"Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS)." - Mayo Clinic. Mayo Clinic Staff, 11 June 2016. Web. 15 July 2016

Thompson, J. M D, and E. A. Mitchell. "Are the Risk Factors for SIDS Different for Preterm and Term Infants?" Archives of Disease in Childhood. BMJ Group, 4 May 2006. Web. 18 July 2016.

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  Closed ✓


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