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Sudden Infant Death Syndrome: Causes, Age Framework

Alas, sometimes it happens that caring and loving parents face the syndrome of sudden child death. At the moment, scientists and pediatricians have not come to a single opinion about the possible causes of this situation, but now there are a number of assumptions.

Many mothers are interested not only in the symptoms of SIDS, but also up to what age there is a certain risk of facing a problem. Let’s understand the concept of SIDS, as well as find out what kind of disease.

What is SIDS

Unexpected infant death syndrome is a diagnosis that is made to infants who have died unexpectedly in a dream without medical reasons. They say about the syndrome if the data of the medical documentation of the child along with the examination of the place of death, as well as the data of the autopsy does not indicate the exact and specific cause of the baby’s death.

As follows from the interpretation of the term, SIDS excludes the presence of infectious diseases, congenital or acquired morphological and functional disorders in the body. Accident is also excluded. If, after an autopsy, a relationship is established between the death of a child and violence, murder is presented.

What can trigger the onset of the syndrome

  • Over the decades of research into sudden infant death syndrome, several basic theories and causes have been established. Some of them remained only the historical heritage of medicine, on the other continue to work.
  • In modern medicine, sudden infant death syndrome in newborns refers to parasomnias, in other words, to sleep disorders. One of the hypotheses, which can explain this theory, is sleep apnea – lack of breathing. In the category with an increased risk of SIDS include premature babies, as well as infants with an underdeveloped respiratory system.
  • Another theory says that cardiac arrhythmias or arrhythmias are the leading cause of sudden infant death. According to scientists, children with an extended QT-interval on the ECG are more at risk than others. This indicator clearly reflects the time over which the contraction of the ventricles occurs and their complete relaxation. Normally, it is 0.43 – 0.45 ms. The increase in the interval can lead to ventricular arrhythmia, which is the reason for stopping the activity of the heart muscle.
  • Some doctors believe that the phenomenon is due to the fact that the child is placed to sleep on his stomach with his head turned to the side. In this position of the body, the vertebral artery is squeezed, the nutrition of the brain stem is reduced and, as a result, central apnea.
  • Also among the possible causes of SIDS include reducing the number of serotonin receptors. Autopsies after death indicated a quantitative decrease in these cells in the medulla. The lack of receptors that react to serotonin, can lead to disruption of the respiratory and cardiovascular centers.
  • Considerable role is assigned to thermoregulation disorders. The optimum temperature in the room for a comfortable sleep is 18 – 22 degrees. When the body is overheated, the still underdeveloped brain cells may simply refuse to work.
  • Some authors attribute the syndrome of unexpected infant death to the borderline states of newborns and children in the first year of life, occurring due to the influence of minimal severity of common factors.
  • Genetic predisposition.

Factors predisposing to SIDS

  • Multiple pregnancy;
  • The young age of the future mother (pregnancy that has come to 20 years);
  • Premature labor;
  • Premature baby and body weight less than two and a half kilograms;
  • Artificial feeding of the baby;
  • Boys are more prone than girls;
  • Sleep in the belly;
  • Soft mattress;
  • Violation of thermoregulation during sleep;
  • Smoking with baby;
  • More often, SIDS are observed in winter;
  • 2 – 4 months of a child’s life;
  • Nicotine or drug addiction of the future mother during pregnancy;
  • Incorrectly chosen pillow, soft mattress, blanket;
  • Excess air temperature in the nursery;
  • Extra items in the crib (bottle, children’s toys and soothers).

Until what age are children at risk?

  • As a rule, the peak of SIDS falls on the 13th week of the baby’s life.
  • For children up to two months the syndrome is not typical, and after half a year of life the probability decreases to 10%.
  • One-year-old children are rarely affected by this syndrome. Fix only individual cases.
  • In addition, children who have learned to roll over, sit up and stand up independently are practically not affected by SIDS, because they can take a comfortable position during sleep.

First aid for a child with respiratory arrest

Symptoms of SIDS:

  • The child is not active;
  • The skin becomes blue;
  • Decreased muscle tone;
  • Breathing becomes weak or apnea is observed;
  • Possible heart rhythm disturbance.

Important! As soon as you suspect that your baby has problems with breathing or with a heartbeat, call the ambulance team immediately.

Before help arrives, you can help your child by giving first aid:

  • Fingers intensively swipe along the spine several times.
  • Shake the baby, try to wake him up.
  • Massage your hands and feet, earlobes. If the frequency and rhythm of breathing are not restored, continue to perform manipulations.
  • In the case of a cardiac arrest, an indirect heart massage is necessary.

Is it possible to prevent SIDS

  • Previously, doctors considered the theory associated with the suffocation of a baby during the joint sleep of mother and child. According to some reports, this information is irrelevant. On the contrary, many scientists believe that joint sleep is a preventive measure for SIDS. During sleep, the child’s breathing and heartbeat are synchronized with those of the mother. In addition, the mother can control the sleep of the child and, in case of unforeseen danger, respond in time.
  • Avoid sleeping together if you are intoxicated, tired, or taking sedatives.
  • One should not cover a one-year-old child with a blanket, it is better to dress him warmer. The pillow is not intended for the baby. Use only hard mattresses recommended by orthopedists and pediatricians.
  • Give up smoking in the house. us-s.us Tobacco smoke is not allowed for a child.
  • In the crib should not be extra items during sleep.
  • Lay the child on his back and turn his head slightly to the side. Sleep on the belly is not allowed.
  • It is also unacceptable to lay the child on a soft mattress and use a blanket and pillow.

ADRS Statistics

There is statistics of sudden infant death syndrome. It is used to search for all sorts of ways to prevent the syndrome, as well as for the timely identification of risk groups.

  • Syndrome of sudden infant death among infants is detected in 0.2 – 1.5 cases per 1000 children.
  • Children under the age of 8 months are more at risk.
  • Often the phenomenon occurs at 13 weeks (2 – 4 months).
  • 60% of dead children are boys.
  • More often it happens from twelve o’clock at night and until 6 o’clock in the morning in the cold season.
  • With sudden death syndrome in children faced in 30% of cases in the first year of life.

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