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August 26, 1974

Sudden Infant Death Syndrome

Author Affiliations

Baerum, Norway

JAMA. 1974;229(9):1165-1166. doi:10.1001/jama.1974.03230470017004

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