What is SIDS?
Sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS), is the sudden unexplained death of an infant of less than one year of age. SIDS can be explained as a baby not waking up from sleep.
SIDS is not labeled when a baby dies from a know cause during sleep, such as suffocation.
The exact cause of SIDS was unknown, until this incredible research break through! We did believe a combination of genetics, specific time in a babies development and potential environmental stressors were a few top factors. Today we know even more!
SIDS is most prominent in babies 2 to 4 months of age.
SIDS Research Breakthrough
Dr. Carmel Harrington and her team of Australian researchers have identified a biochemical marker in the blood that could help identify newborn babies at risk for sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS), a breakthrough that will give grieving parents answers and prevent future tragedies.
In their study, babies who died of SIDS had lower levels of an enzyme called butyrylcholinesterase (BChE) shortly after birth. BChE plays a major role in the brain’s arousal pathway, and low levels would reduce a sleeping infant’s ability to wake up or respond to its environment.
A simple dried blood sample can gain insight to babies potentially at risk of SIDS.
What does this mean for parents today?
Further research “needs to be undertaken with urgency” to determine whether routine measurement of BChE could potentially help prevent future SIDS deaths, the investigators said from the Children’s Hospital at Westmead.
Safe sleep needs to always be top priority, including encouraging babies to sleep on their backs, remove all suffocation hazards like blankets & pillows and monitoring babies environment.
For more information and safety training on newborns, check out our NEW "Baby First Aid" course.