SIDS (Sudden Infant Death Syndrome) Research Essay
Sudden Infant Death Syndrome or SIDS is marked by the sudden death of a newborn or infant under the age of 1 year old that is much unexpected by medical history and still remains unexplained after a thorough autopsy and a detailed death scene investigation. SIDS also is referred to the terms cot death or crib death since the child dies in the crib. SIDS rates have dropped drastically over the years, when parents were told to put babies to sleep or bed on their backs or sides to reduce the probability of SIDS. Regrettably, Sudden Infant Death Syndrome remains major cause of death in infant. Over thousands of babies die of SIDS in the United States each year.
The source of SIDS is unfamiliar, although there are many theories. Many doctors now believe that Sudden Infant Death Syndrome is not a single situation that is always caused by the same medical problems, but infant death is caused by several other factors. These very factors include trouble with sleep arousal or the inability to sense a build-up of carbon dioxide in the blood. Many SIDS deaths occur without any warnings or even without symptoms when the infant is thought to be in a peaceful sleep. In many cases, no sign of distress is identifiable. When the parents finally discover the infant in the crib it is lifeless, without a pulse or respiration. Parents may perform CPR on the infant, but evidence shows a lack of beneficial effects from CPR. When the infant is finally taken to a medical center, the cause of death can remain unknown regardless of careful reviews of the medical history, scene of investigation, x-rays, and even an autopsy. The cause or source of SIDS is still unknown even today, but there are some factors that can cause the sudden death of an infant. There are many things that can increase the risk of SIDS such as; babies who sleep on their stomachs, babies who are around cigarette smoke while in the womb or after being born, babies who sleep in the same bed as their parents, babies who have soft bedding in the crib, multiple birth babies (being a twin, triplet, etc.), premature babies, babies who have a brother or sister who had SIDS, mothers who smoke or use illegal drugs and even teen mothers.
There are many ways a parent can prevent SIDS from happening to their infant. They could use a fan to circulate the air. A fan could simply increase the mixing of exhalation into the room air and lessen the risk of SIDS related to infant hypoxia. Researchers have found out that the fan use was associated with a 72% lower risk of SIDS. Only 3% of the babies who died had a fan on in the room during their last sleep, mothers reported. That is compared to 12% of the babies who have lived. Using a good fan reduces risks most for babies in poor sleeping environments. Another way a parent can prevent SIDS from happening to their infant can be safe bedding. To provide a bed that can keep an infant safe includes against using pillows, sleep positioners, bumper pads, stuffed animals, or fluffy bedding in the crib and it is recommended instead to dress the child warmly and keeping the crib “naked.” Also another safety precaution could be to prevent putting a blanket over the infant’s head. There are many other ways for parents to prevent their infant from SIDS, these are only a few examples.
The Epidemiology, study patterns of health or illness, is very large and crucial for a parent to know about. SIDS is responsible for 0.543 deaths per 1,000 live births in the United States in 2005. SIDS is also the leading cause of death in healthy infants after one month of age. SIDS deaths have decreased since 1992 from 4,895 to 2,247 deaths in 2004. SIDS have been decreasing from 80% to 55% from 1989 to 2004. So other the years there have been less infants that have died from SIDS. Throughout the many years of parenthood we have been able to prevent the causes and factors of SIDS drastically. There are 14 epidemiologic characteristics of SIDS which includes increased risk of prone sleep position, and SIDS risk is greatest during sleep. There are many other characteristics and this is just a few. By knowing the epidemiologic characteristics it could help a parent know what the factors are for SIDS.
Sudden Infant Death Syndrome is caused by many factors and has been happening for many years. There are now ways to prevent this from happening to an infant. By looking up ways to prevent SIDS and information on Sudden Infant Death Syndrome, it could help many parents around the world to keep their infants in safe arms. I learned that Sudden Infant Death Syndrome happens a lot to infants under 1 year old and is very serious. By looking up information people can prevent this.