Sudden Infant Death Syndrome Term Paper

Total Length: 1172 words ( 4 double-spaced pages)

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Sudden Infant Death Syndrome. The articles explore separate studies about the topic. The author of this work discusses various aspects of each article and their merit. There were two sources used to complete this paper.

Each year in America thousands of parents walk into their infants room and discover that the child has died from Sudden Infant Death Syndrome. The tragedy shocks and baffles the medical community as it continues to search for answers not only to what causes the syndrome but also what parents can do to reduce the risk of it striking their child. Studies around the globe have been conducted to this end with mixed results.

The determination of factors that influence the existence of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome is vital to the ability to stop its occurrence.

Study one

The first study examined whether the temperament of an infant has a bearing on whether that child is more prone to developing Sudden Infant Death Syndrome.

For the study, "healthy term, healthy preterm, and preterm infants with a neonatal history of apnea underwent polysomnography at 2 to 3 months. Arousal was induced using air-jet stimulation of the nostrils in active (AS) and quiet sleep (QS). Temperament was assessed using the Early Infancy Temperament Questionnaire. Arousal thresholds were elevated in QS compared with AS in each group (p < .001), and preterm infants with a neonatal history of apnea were less arousable than healthy preterm infants (p < .05) (Adamson, 2002)."

Research already knows that the syndrome most often claims the lives of babies between one week and one-year-old. Studies have also shown that it happens more often to babies who were born preterm and to babies whose mothers smoke. The most common age for Sudden Infant Death Syndrome to strike is two to four months of age. While maternal smoking, low birth weight and premature birth are all shown to be contributing risk factors to Sudden Infant Death Syndrome, the actual final mechanism to its triggering is still a mystery.
This study focused on determining whether or not the baby's actual temperament contributes to the inability to rouse himself or herself during sleep, which is the ultimate cause of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome according to research. "The aim of this investigation was to determine whether temperament could be used as an indicator of arousability from sleep in infants in the peak age range of SIDS and in infants at increased risk of SIDS. We hypothesized that the "threshold" dimension of temperament would be the most predictive measure of arousal threshold during sleep, given that this dimension was specifically designed as a measure of stimulus intensity required to evoke a discernible infant response (Adamson, 2002). " The study examined 47 infants that were chosen from maternity wards in Australia. They were separated into three groups based on histories. The groups consisted of babies who were: healthy term infants, healthy preterm infants, and preterm infants who had a history of sleep apnea associated with slow heart beats. "All preterm infants had normal cranial ultrasound scans at discharge. Healthy preterm infants required less than 2 days of assisted ventilation, and their subsequent clinical course was uneventful. Preterm infants with a history of apnea were ventilated for 15 [+ or -] 4 days (mean [+ or -] SEM, range 0-45 days) and had apnea/bradycardias (apnea >15 sec with associated bradycardia <100 beats per minute) requiring nursing intervention for 23 [+ or -] 5 days (range 1-65 days). All apneas had been resolved by the time….....

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