To the Editor.—
With reference to the article about the investigation of Dr. Naeye (228:555, 1974), and others (Br Med J 1:341, 1974), the following factors seem to be present in 90% to 100% of cases in which cot deaths occur: (1) the baby is lying in a horizontal position in bed; (2) the baby is quietly asleep for some hours; (3) the death is a silent and unexpected event; (4) the baby is clothed and the covers are wrapped around the child; (5) the child is helpless and somewhat weak; and (6) a greater or lesser degree of interstitial edema is found in the lungs.1The most reasonable explanation of cot deaths, according to these premises, is, I think, that the baby is drowned in its own body fluid. This body fluid is more abundant in newborn babies than in adults, and highly mobile. Interstitial edema in the
Aaneland T. Sudden Infant Death Syndrome. JAMA. 1974;229(9):1165–1166. doi:10.1001/jama.1974.03230470017004
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