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Groundbreaking research may help grieving parents who have lost babies to SIDS

16 May 2022 9:56 AM
Tags:
SIDS
Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS)
Dr Carmen Harrington

Refilwe Moloto speaks to Dr Carmel Harrington about her team’s groundbreaking discovery of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome.

- Dr Carmel Harrington and her team have found a way of spotting babies at higher risk of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome

- SIDS is the unexpected and unexplained death of a seemingly healthy baby while asleep


Copyright : Danil Roudenko / 123rf

A leading sleep expert whose young son died in his sleep is part of a team of experts in Australia who have been carrying out groundbreaking research on the causes of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS).

Commonly known as cot death, SIDS is the unexpected and unexplained death of a seemingly healthy baby while asleep. Most incidents occur before the age of six months.

Dr Carmel Harrington and her team at The Children’s Hospital Westmead in Sydney say they've found a way of spotting babies who are at a higher risk of SIDS.

Harrington's own son Damien died just before his second birthday, a crowdfunding campaign in his memory funded this latest research.

The importance of this study is that for the first time we have found something that can be measured prior to death, in fact, at birth, which might identify SIDS vulnerable to sudden infant death.

Carmel Harrington, Doctor - The Children’s Hospital Westmead in Sydney

What this research tells us is that these babies are different from birth.

Carmel Harrington, Doctor - The Children’s Hospital Westmead in Sydney

The babies had, what we think, is a deficit in arousal response. So they weren't able to arouse a life-threatening challenge.

Carmel Harrington, Doctor - The Children’s Hospital Westmead in Sydney

Harrington says the importance of the research is that it may go some way to alleviating the guilt felt by parents who have lost children to SIDS.

Secondly, what this allows us to do is develop a screening test, that will help us identify those babies vulnerable to SIDS and provide intervention.

Carmel Harrington, Doctor - The Children’s Hospital Westmead in Sydney

There were a few indicators with my own son which, of course, I didn't recognise at the time.

Carmel Harrington, Doctor - The Children’s Hospital Westmead in Sydney

RELATED: 'A traumatising moment' - Grabouw baby rescued after horror hijacking ordeal


This article first appeared on CapeTalk : Groundbreaking research may help grieving parents who have lost babies to SIDS




16 May 2022 9:56 AM
Tags:
SIDS
Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS)
Dr Carmen Harrington

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