We have long assumed that sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS) occurred in normal babies unexpectedly,1 that there was no means by which babies at risk for SIDS could be identified beforehand,2 and that the physician's role in management of SIDS commenced with the event of death and concerned itself only with supporting and counseling families of the victim.3
In this issue of the Journal (p 1207), Naeye and Drage (and Naeye elsewhere4) present evidence which indicates that babies who die of SIDS are not normal, that their deaths are not totally unexpected, and that physicians may indeed be able to predict those at risk and intervene to prevent such deaths.
Their prospective, matched-control study strongly suggests that babies born in certain demographic circumstances, under certain antepartum influences, and with certain neonatal histories, physical findings, and behaviors are at higher risk for SIDS than babies who do
HOEKELMAN RA. A New Perspective on Sudden Infant Death Syndrome. Am J Dis Child. 1976;130(11):1191–1192. doi:10.1001/archpedi.1976.02120120025002
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