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May 1973

Sudden and Unexpected Deaths in Infancy (COT Deaths): Report of the Proceedings of the Sir Samuel Bedson Symposium held at Addenbrooke's Hospital, Cambridge, April 17 and 18, 1970

Author Affiliations

San Francisco

Am J Dis Child. 1973;125(5):772. doi:10.1001/archpedi.1973.04160050108027

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These deliberations of a distinguished panel discuss every aspect of this baffling and important syndrome, to the extent of examining even many discarded hypotheses and speculations, each of which has been left open to future exploration. Viral or bacterial infection, anaphylaxis, metabolic, immunologic and genetic aspects, together with mechanical obstruction and asphyxia (including the somewhat simplistic possibility that nasal obstruction and obligatory nasal respirations in the young sleeping infant are responsible for asphyxia) were reviewed.

Not surprisingly, the exact cause for this syndrome was not established, but there was some comfort for each one who cherishes a pet theory. The importance of the psychologic impact of these deaths on parents and family received considerable attention, although this did not contribute to etiology or prevention.

It was agreed that epidemiologic, virologic, bacteriologic, and metabolic studies had not opened clear pathways to etiologic possibilities and that the difficulty of proving these was

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