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Bacteria Exposure Linked To SIDS Infants

Posted by Jane Akre
Friday, May 30, 2008 2:06 PM EST
Category: Major Medical, Protecting Your Family
Tags: FDA and Prescription Drugs, SIDS, E. coli, Staphylococcus aureus, Suddent Infant Death

Bacteria may be a factor in SIDS deaths.

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IMAGE SOURCE:  Wikimedia commons/ 3 month old baby boy/author: Fretwurst

 

Recent study findings suggest common bacterial infections might be the blame for some cases of sudden infant death syndrome

Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS) also known as the “Silent Killer,” is the sudden death of an infant under the age of one, which remains unexplained after a thorough investigation, including an examination of the death scene, complete autopsy, and review of health history.

Reporting in the British medical publication, The Lancet, researchers found high levels of Staphylococcus aureus and Escherichia coli (E. coli) bacteria in children who died of SIDS.

Researchers conducted autopsies on 546 infants who died suddenly and unexpectedly between the ages of 7 and 365 days. Bacteria samples were taken from 470 of the infants.

More of the harmful organisms were found in children whose SIDS could not be explained.

At this time, researchers do not understand the true significance of the findings and a casual link is yet to be established.

This does not mean parents should run to their medical doctor and seek antibiotics for their newborns, cautioned Dr. Jim Greenberg, director of the division of neonatology at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital. A casual link has been established, not a cause and effect.

In another study, to be published June 1 in the American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine, Canadian researchers find that over-wrapping the baby and keeping a warm room might overheat the baby, which seems to raise the risk of SIDS.

The most vulnerable age for SIDS peaks at between eight to 10 weeks of age, at a time when the mother’s antibodies are disappearing and the infants is beginning to make his own concentration of immunoglobulin that protects against bacterial infections.

Dr. Cheryl Cipriani, an associate professor of pediatrics at Texas A&M Health Science Center College of Medicine tells the Washington Post, "This is a particular point in time where babies seem to be vulnerable," she said.

The rate of SIDS has lowered considerably since 1983, but still about 2,500 U.S. infants die each year of SIDS. Sometimes the diagnosis is made when there is simply no other explanation. It may provide some relief to the guilt felt by parents who think they did something wrong.

Until a precise cause is for SIDS is discovered, parents are advised to put infants to sleep on their back, which reduces the risk of SIDS by 40 to 60 percent.

Keeping your child away from cigarette smoke also helps to minimize the risk of SIDS.#


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