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Prevention of Sudden Infant Death

Milllard Bass, DO, MPH, ScD
Arch Pediatr Adolesc Med. 1994;148(9):992. doi:10.1001/archpedi.1994.02170090106023.
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I regret that Emery1 misinterprets and misquotes the article by my colleagues and me concerning death-scene investigations of sudden infant death. My colleagues and I2,3 have stated in the medical literature that such death-scene investigations by trained forensic personnel may determine that household hazards or unintentional injury are responsible for sudden infant deaths in a substantial number of cases. Emery responds by shortsightedly suggesting to move the medicolegal investigation of sudden infant death out of the domain of forensic pathology and into the fields of pediatric pathology and social work. His suggestion ignores basic principles of public health and safety in a community that calls for the medicolegal investigation of sudden, unexplained deaths in persons of all ages.

Clearly, some homicide cases are misdiagnosed as cases of sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS). In the past decade, I have studied 10 families in which multiple sudden infant deaths occurred.


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