Research Paper: Infancy Fatality Risks Factors and Prevention

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[. . .] SIDS is one of the most tragic and baffling forms of infant mortality, and something that is devastating to new parents (Mayoclinic.org). Researchers have long been studying SIDS and while it is a very mysterious health event, experts have been able to connect its manifestation with things like brain defects: for example, the part of the brain that regulates breathing isn’t well developed enough to work with total effectiveness. Other infants who have suffered mortality from SIDS have done so because they’ve had a co-existing respiratory infection, which has contributed to breathing problems that created SIDS (mayoclinic.org). However, it has also been found that environmental factors can also contribute to SIDS, such as a crib with super soft sleeping materials, like a down comforter that blocks the child’s airflow (mayoclinic.org).

However, recent research has been able to shed greater light into the phenomenon of SIDS, finding that there is a connection between SIDS and genetic heart disease (GHD) (Tester et al., 2018). The study included over 400 cases of SIDS and ultimately found a “‘potentially informative’ variant in a GHD-susceptibility gene, predominantly in the 4-to 12-month age group. Only 4.3% of cases possessed immediately clinically actionable variants. Consistent with previous studies, ultra-rare, nonsynonymous variants within the major cardiac channelopathy-associated genes were overrepresented in SIDS cases in infants of European ethnicity” (Tester et al., 2018). This research implies that many cases of SIDS have an undeniable connection to genetic heart disease, signaling that genetic heart disease is a risk factor for SIDS. Such findings is very encouraging for the entire medical community as it means that pregnant women who have a heart disease in their families can take extensive precautionary measures during pregnancy and during the child’s formative year to ensure that the cardiac and circulatory systems are functioning as they should. This offers a tremendous amount of potential for further research and medical care to prevent infant mortality.

SIDS is a devastating occurrence and while it cannot be definitively prevented, there are always things that parents can do to minimize the risk factors. It is also beneficial for parents to be aware of the inherent vulnerabilities of certain infants: boys are more likely to suffer from SIDS than girls, non-Caucasian infants are more likely to suffer from SIDs, and children are particularly vulnerable during their first two-to-four months of life. To minimize the risk of SIDS parents need to ensure that the baby is sleeping on its back and that the crib is as sparse as possible: the mattress should be firm and the crib should be free of stuffed animals and even blankets as this can thwart the airflow of the child (Mayoclinic.org). Overheating the child is another danger so using specially made sleep clothing for children is a good idea as it will undermine the need for additional blankets (mayoclinic.org).

In conclusion, infant fatality is a distressing and complex health issue. One of the main ways that this condition can be prevented and reduced in occurrence is through education. Healthcare providers need to adequately educate all pregnant women about the risk factors distinctly connected to infant fatality and the proactive measures that they can take, such as receiving adequate prenatal care and taking folic acid, to reduce its occurrence.

Works Cited

CDC.gov. \"Infant Mortality | Maternal and Infant Health | Reproductive Health | CDC.\" Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 2 Jan. 2018, www.cdc.gov/reproductivehealth/maternalinfanthealth/infantmortality.htm. Accessed 31 Mar. 2018.

Mayoclinic.org. \"Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS) - Symptoms and Causes.\" Mayo Clinic, 12 July 2017, www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/sudden-infant-death-syndrome/symptoms-causes/syc-20352800. Accessed 31 Mar. 2018.

NIH.gov. \"How Many People Are Affected By/at Risk for Birth Defects?\" Http://www.nichd.nih.gov/, 1 Sept. 2017, www.nichd.nih.gov/health/topics/birthdefects/conditioninfo/risk.

Tester, David J., et al. \"Cardiac Genetic Predisposition in Sudden Infant Death Syndrome.\" Journal of the American College of Cardiology 71.11 (2018): 1217- 1227. [END OF PREVIEW]

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Infancy Fatality Risks Factors and Prevention.  (2018, March 31).  Retrieved March 25, 2019, from https://www.essaytown.com/subjects/paper/infancy-fatality-risks-factors-prevention/4964218

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