Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS)

Essay by ranma237College, UndergraduateA+, September 2006

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As defined by Taber's medical dictionary, the word syndrome refers to "a group of signs, symptoms and laboratory findings that collectively indicate or characterize a disease, or other abnormal conditions."( Venes 2022 ). In other words, individuals who have a particular syndrome do not necessarily have all the distinguishing characteristics and the severity of the symptoms varies from person to person. In sudden infant death syndrome, also popularly known as crib death or cot death, it is defined as a sudden and unexpected death of an " apparently healthy infant less than one year of age, in whom the postmortem examination fails to reveal an adequate cause." (Klossner 502) This occurrence of death remains unexplained and unclear after a thorough case investigation. Most deaths from SIDS occur by the end of sixth month, but usually occur between 2 and 4 months of age. SIDS death occurs quickly, silently and anytime of the day.

It is often associated with sleep and there are no signs of struggle or suffering. As a matter of fact, parents or caregivers who have been sleeping nearby claim that they have not heard any sound of distress or crying sounds before the death was confirmed.

What are the common characteristics of SIDS? As mentioned earlier, it occurs usually between 2 and 4 months of age. It also occurs in all types of families, races and socioeconomic levels of the society. Statistics about this syndrome will be discussed in more detail later. Additionally, it transpires more often in winter and fall months and affects more male infants than female infants with a 60- to 40-percent male to female ratio. . Culturally, the occurrence of SIDS is 2 to3 times greater in black children than in white children. Native American children are 5 times higher at risk than...