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May 2, 2001

What Do Home Monitors Contribute to the SIDS Problem?

Author Affiliations

Author Affiliation: Division of Pulmonary Biology, Children's Hospital Medical Center, Cincinnati, Ohio.

JAMA. 2001;285(17):2244-2245. doi:10.1001/jama.285.17.2244

Sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS) is one of the most tragic events in medicine. The major hypotheses for the causes of SIDS are variants of the presumption that the SIDS event results from abnormal cardiopulmonary regulation, perhaps aggravated by environmental factors. Although multiple "immaturities" or "abnormalities" of cardiorespiratory control in preterm, term, and young infants have been demonstrated,1 the links between those physiological responses and SIDS are tenuous. Nevertheless, a home monitoring industry with the noble goal of preventing SIDS has now operated for many years without either a sound scientific foundation for monitoring or a clear demonstration that monitoring decreases SIDS.

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