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November 4, 1974

Sudden Infant Death Syndrome: Problems of the Parents

Author Affiliations

Patricia Vail Alameda, Calif

JAMA. 1974;230(5):671. doi:10.1001/jama.1974.03240050019010

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To the Editor.—  A consistent method of humane treatment of parents of sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS) victims is the aim of a California law that takes effect Jan 1, 1975. This is the first legislation in any state that provides for the measures necessary for prompt and sympathetic management of such cases. (Since one of 350 babies dies each year of SIDS, 800 to 1,000 deaths are expected in California in 1975.)AB 409, Crown, mandates immediate autopsies in possible SIDS cases, immediate notification of the county health officer in the provisional diagnosis of the gross autopsy is SIDS, and notification of the parents by the health officer to explain SIDS to them (after consultation with the infant's physician).Although this humane treatment should occur under existing procedures and, in fact, does occur at times in California as well as in scattered areas in the nation, the lack of