Sudden Infant Death Syndrome Essay

4099 words - 17 pages

Excellent paper on SIDS.. 15 Pages w/Works cited Excellent WorkSudden infant death syndrome, better known as S.I.D.S., is one of the leading causes for the inflated infant mortality rate in this country today. It is often misunderstood or unrecognizable. For the most part, the causes of SIDS are unknown to the general public. This is changing, however, as public awareness is ever increasing. Thus, the purpose of this paper will be to explain sudden infant death syndrome and its known or suggested causes. Also, the history of SIDS, the problems and emotional suffering that results from the loss of a child, the toll it takes on the surviving sibling, and possible counseling or other help that ...view middle of the document...

Ironically it was not until the middle of the 1970's until SIDS was no longer ignored as being a cause of death. For the most part, no research was being conducted, leaving families and victims left to wonder why their babies died (Mandell 129). For the family and friends of the family, who also are victims, this was definitely a tragedy. Not knowing the cause of death had to have caused physical and emotional distress in their lives. Self blame was something that had to exist, even though there was nothing that most of these parents could have possibly done.Today where more research in this area is needed, researchers are making strides in combating this disease. But understanding the crucial aspects of SIDS and how to prevent it, are still limited. The leaders in this field are hoping to improve understanding of this disease by providing direction and opportunities for more quality intensified research. According to L. Stanley James, MD, chair of neonatology at Columbian Presbyterian Medical Center in New York City, 'The government is now having a rejuvenation of SIDS research, and over the next five years, they are going to be putting in thirty to forty million dollars.' The direction will be supplied through a five year research plan proposed by a panel of experts from The National Institute of Child and Human Development in Bethesda, Maryland (Zylke 1565). In response to a Senate request, there will be representatives from the fields of epidemology, neonatology, cardiorespiratory and sleep research, neuroscience, behavioral medicine, pathology, infectious disease, immunology and metabolism to meet an release a report on current knowledge and research recommendations (Zylke 1565). It was important to this group that people would have a definition of SIDS that would be acceptable to all. The current definition of SIDS, developed in 1969, states SIDS as being 'the sudden death of any infant or young child which is unexpected by history and in which a thorough postmortem examination fails to demonstrate and adequate cause of death.' (Bosa 5).Much has been learned through research in the recent years. Such examples have now been considered to be facts, one being that the peak incidence occurs at about ten weeks of age and that it is uncommon at less than three weeks and greater than nine months (Zylke 1566). What also is commonly known is that death usually occurs during sleep and that most victims do not exhibit any illnesses in any one degree at that time. It must also be important to realize what complications might arise from a broad generalization such as the previous. It may be used by some doctors in the medical profession to cover up what might otherwise be considered to be malpractice. With the good comes the bad as well.Therefore, the National Institutes of Health assembled a group of experts to come up with a new definition of SIDS. 'The sudden death of an infant under one year of age which remains unexplained after a complete...

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