oa Professional Nursing Today - Prone sleepers are prone to sudden infant death syndrome : paediatrics



Sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS) is one of the most common causes of death among infants 1 to 12 months old and has a devastating impact on surviving family members. The most important modifiable risk factor appears to be prone sleeping, which has been estimated to account for 40-80% of SIDS cases3. Other unsafe sleeping practices linked to SIDS include soft bedding (waterbeds, sofas, sheepskins), bed sharing and sleeping with potentially obstructive materials (stuffed toys, pillows). Epidemiological risk factors include male gender, prematurity and / or low birth weight, maternal smoking (during and after the pregnancy), seasonal distribution with a peak in winter months, lower socio-economic status, little or no prenatal care, young maternal age, higher parity, single parenthood and multiple gestation. A recent study found a direct correlation between the levels of alpha-fetoprotein in the second trimester (a marker of placental dysfunction and a strong predictor of the risk for unexplained stillbirths) and the risk for SIDS, which may be mediated by impaired foetal growth and preterm birth. This article will hopefully increase SIDS awareness and provide information and evidence on how to alter nursery practices and advise new mothers.


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