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Peshawar

September 13, 2016

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SIDS becomes major cause of infants’ death

Medical experts say the syndrome is associated with brain abnormality

PESHAWAR: The Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS) is a leading cause of death in children aged between 30 days and one year although in most cases the infant looks normal and healthy, medical experts said.

In Pakistan, a baby dies every hour of the day, says a health related platform Blush.

The SIDS is also known as crib death; crib refers to the bed with high sides that babies sleep in.The death from SIDS remains unexplained even after an autopsy and medical investigation.

Sundus, a lady doctor in the city, told this scribe that the SIDS is associated with brain abnormality in babies. She advised mothers to avoid sleeping with their babies in sofa or armchair.

Research suggests that SIDS occurs when an infant’s body has difficulty regulating breathing, cardiovascular functions, and body temperature because of an underlying developmental delay or problem in parts of the brain controlling those activities. For example, some infants who succumb to SIDS are born with an abnormality in regions of the brain that control breathing and the normal arousal response.

Infants born with other brain defects, possibly due to genetics, exposure to a toxic substance or lack of oxygen to the fetus (due to cigarette smoking during pregnancy, for example), may also be more susceptible to SIDS.

According to research at the Boston Children’s Hospital and Florey Institute of Neuroscience and Mental Health, the brain abnormality leaves the toddlers unable to adequately respond when faced with a stressor while sleeping. It says that if a pillow goes over a healthy infant’s face, their brain usually detects changes in oxygen levels and initiates response, so that the baby can turn its head and continue breathing. However, babies with the abnormality do not respond properly in the same situation and it leads to their death.

Medical experts say that the babies must be on their back rather than on belly while sleeping in order to save their lives. Moreover, the baby’s face should not be covered with blanket, but the body should be covered up to chest and shoulders while asleep.

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