SUIDS, SIDS & Sawyer

May 20, 2011 at 8:59 am | Posted in CHD, Grief | 8 Comments
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Before January of 2010 I was blissfully unaware that the term SUIDS (Sudden Unexplained Infant Death Syndrome) even existed.  I had heard of SIDS but my experience with it was limited to watching stories about fictional families in Lifetime movies or reading about real, unknown families in newspaper articles. 

Until December of 2006,  SIDS did not exist in my real world.  Our next door neighbor called to let us know that another neighbor’s baby had died.  It was determined the cause of death was SIDS.  Evan and I went to talk to the parents.  Their 2 toddler boys were running around in circles as we shared Jake’s story and they told us about their baby. 

Our neighbor’s baby was full term.  She was 3 months old.  She had been to the pediatrician the day before.   She had been taking a nap.  She did not wake up.  I did not know that Jake would die.  However, I knew he was very premature and he had hydrops.  I knew that he was in the NICU and there were complications.  Our neighbor thought she was waking up her baby to take her to her first Christmas party.

December of  2009, Sawyer did not wake up. 

It was determined that Sawyer’s cause of death was not SIDS because of the coarctation of his aorta.  In order for SIDS to be determined the cause of death the baby must be 100% anatomically correct.  The coarctation while it was not narrow enough to cause death, it did lead to the possibility that he had cardiac channelopathies. 

I know that I am not the best at explaining these medical terms.  The following is a better explanation from the CDC:

Sudden unexpected infant deaths are defined as deaths in infants less than 1 year of age that occur suddenly and unexpectedly, and whose and cause of death are not immediately obvious prior to investigation.

SUID posible causes: Poisining or overdose, SIDS, Accidental suffication, Unknown, Infections, Inborn errors of metabolism, Cardiac channelopathies.Each year in the United States, more than 4,500 infants die suddenly of no immediately, obvious cause. Half of these Sudden Unexpected Infant Deaths (SUID) are due to Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS), the leading cause of SUID and of all deaths among infants aged 1–12 months.

Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS)

Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS) is defined as the sudden death of an infant less than 1 year of age that cannot be explained after a thorough investigation is conducted, including a complete autopsy, examination of the death scene, and review of the clinical history.

SIDS is the leading cause of death among infants aged 1–12 months, and is the third leading cause overall of infant mortality in the United States


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  1. Lanie,
    There is a whole world of medical maladies out there that we just have no clue of; until it happens to us or someone near and dear to us. So sad and I pray one day the cause of SUID and SIDS is determined and can be prevented.


  2. It’s amazing how much is out there that we know so little about! Thanks for teaching us more…

  3. My Friends baby was 2 1/2 weeks old when she passed away of S.U.I.D.S . Like I have heard of S.I.D.S but that was my first time hearing of the other one .

  4. I’m so sorry for your losses. We lost our 5 month old 7 months ago to what we thought was SIDS but now they say it was coarctation of his aorta too. Would love to chat with you. Our son was seen by a cardiologist before he passed for a murmur and she said he was perfect 😦

    • I am so sorry about your son – I wish that none of us had to live in a world without our child/children. Please email me if you would like to talk ( Sending you hope and hugs. Take care.

  5. I am so sorry for your loss. No one should have to suffer the loss of their child – let alone losing two.

    You are an amazing writer and yours strength is incredible. My thoughts are with you.

  6. Thanks for sharing this. I love the name Sawyer and actually just paused to add it to my list of potential names for the rainbow baby I hope God gives us.

  7. […] certain arrhythmias that she and some other scientists believe may account for many of the SIDS and SUIDS deaths that still occur far too often. She also happens to be quoted in the article — taking a […]

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