sudden infant death syndromemedical dictionary


May affect infants of any age, but some risk factors have been identified: term infants who have had a life-threatening period of apnoea (not breathing), premature infants of low birth weight, siblings of infants who have succumbed to sudden infant death syndrome and infants of substance abusing mothers.

Peak age is at 2.5 months and 4 months, but can range from 1 month to 1 year. High risk infants should have home monitoring done. It is recommended that the less than 4 month old infant should sleep on their back.

Synonyms: cot death syndrome.

Incidence: 2 per 1,000 live births.

Acronym: SIDS

(27 Sep 1997)

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