Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS)


  • Unexpected death of infants <1yr for which no pathologic cause can be determined
    • Most deaths occur between 2-4 months of age
    • Rare in <1 month of age
  • Diagnosis of exclusion

Risk Factors

  • Prone sleeping
  • Soft bedding
  • Bed-sharing
  • Parental smoking
  • URI
  • Male sex
  • Prematurity / Developmental delay
  • Socioeconomic disadvantage
  • Maternal exposure to smoking, alcohol, drugs of abuse

Clinical Features

Differential Diagnosis



  • Infants with rigor mortis, livedo reticulrais, pH <6, or reduced temperature in absence of environmental hypothermia should not be resuscitated

See Also


  • The Sudden Infant Death Syndrome. N Engl J Med 2009; 361:795-805