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January 1975

The Physician's Responsibility in the Management of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome

Author Affiliations

Departments of Pediatrics and Biomedical Engineering School of Medicine Case Western Reserve University Cleveland, OH 44106

Am J Dis Child. 1975;129(1):138. doi:10.1001/archpedi.1975.02120380106031

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Sir.—In response to the recent articulate and thoughtful article by Robert A. Hoekelman, MD, that appeared in the July issue of the Journal (128:16, 1974), we present the following commentary. Dr. Hoekelman states that "... the physician has no responsibility in management of the tragedy prior to the death of the infant, since death occurs unexpectedly." However, it has been our experience that an increasingly large number of potential "risk infants" may appear in the emergency room with the so-called near miss Sudden Infant Death syndrome. In our own institution, several infants have been seen in the past several years who had at least one episode of apnea or cyanosis identified by the parents at home. These have usually been accompanied by prompt efforts on the part of the parents to resuscitate the infants at home, using a variety of methods, and then bringing the infant to the emergency room for

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