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I Put My Baby Down, Checked On Him 10 Minutes Later, And He Was Dead ...

Many SIDS parents have described placing their baby down to sleep and coming back within 10-20 minutes, finding that their baby has died in that short period of time. Sometimes, the parent was within hearing distance, and there was no sign of a struggle. Thus, SIDS appears to be something which can occur swiftly and silently.

Some babies have died from SIDS in hospitals, where skilled resuscitation was immediately available, and yet they could not be revived. Some have died on home monitors, which worked correctly, and where skilled persons responded, and yet these babies could not be revived. I have also heard parents recount deaths which occurred in their arms, etc.

Most SIDS researchers currently believe that SIDS is due to some type of brainstem dysfunction or immaturity, which affects breathing and sleep. Yet, these observations of rapid deaths which can not be revived, even in a very timely manner, are troubling, as they do not seem to fit the theory that SIDS is simply due to stopping breathing. Thus, these observations are important. They are teaching us something about SIDS, we are just not smart enough to know what it is --- yet. It just shows that we have a way to go before we understand the cause of SIDS.

Thomas G. Keens, M.D.
Childrens Hospital Los Angeles

Reprinted with permission

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