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AVM has nothing to do with SIDS

16 May 1997

I was speaking to a friend of mine who lost her daughter at 20 months to
something called "AVM ", she didn't really get into what it was or was not.
She only said that they said right away not sids related, I was wondering if
anyone out there had any information on AVM.

Apparently her daughter went down for a nap and died during the nap,
I am under the impression that this is seizure related and not common.
But she says that her daughter had no seizures or warning signs.

AVM stands for "arterio-venous malformation." This is a congenital abnormality
of blood vessels. It can occur in several organs, but in the child you
mentioned I assume it was located in the brain. They may be fatal conditions,
although death is generally not sudden or unexpected and the diagnosis is
typically already known. This has nothing to do with SIDS, and the true cause
of death would always be obvious at autopsy.
Sudden death would typically be associated with severe bleeding in the
brain as a consequence of the AVM. Some AVM can be treated, but large ones in the brain
generally cannot be successfully treated.

I hope this is helpful.
Dr. Carl Hunt

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