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Findings that raise suspicion for abuse include malnutrition or neglect and injuries to the skin such as bruising, traumatic lesions, and abnormalities of the head and/or body. In the American Academy of Pediatrics’ Policy on Distinguishing SIDS from Child Abuse Fatalities, it is stated that the death of an infant may be attributed to SIDS when all of the following are true:

  • a complete autopsy is done, including cranium and cranial contents, and autopsy findings are compatible with SIDS;
  • there is no gross or microscopic evidence of trauma or significant disease process;
  • there is no evidence of trauma on skeletal survey;
  • other causes of death are adequately ruled out, including meningitis, sepsis, aspiration, pneumonia, myocarditis, abdominal trauma, dehydration, fluid and electrolyte imbalance, significant congenital lesions, inborn metabolic disorders, carbon monoxide asphyxia, drowning, or burns;
  • there is no evidence of current alcohol, drug, or toxic exposure; and
  • thorough death scene investigation and review of the clinical history are negative.

For our newsletter and blog this month we are reviewing Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS). The blog topics for this month are:

  • SIDS: Definition (11/6/15)
  • SIDS: Risk Factors (11/13/15)
  • SIDS: Physical Findings (11/20/15)
  • SIDS: Considering Abuse  (11/27/15)

Note: To see all posts in this topic, click here

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