The letter by Bass is welcome since it enables the forensic and pediatric approaches to unexpected infant deaths to be clarified. I am well aware of the cases that Bass refers to and could quote from more cases. As Bass knows,1 I took part in the Tinning trial on behalf of the defense, but that does not mean that I do not agree with the verdict.
The death-scene investigation of infant deaths is usually different from that done with adults since the majority of infant deaths occur in cribs. It has been our practice for the last 40 years for the crib, with all of the bedding, to be brought to the pathology department so that the infant can be placed in his or her at-death position before the autopsy is performed. Observations from these reenacted death-scene studies prompted our research in 1968 into the possible suffocating effects of