Introduction & Pathophysiology of SIDS
SIDS results from underlying vulnerabilities in infants that is triggered by a specific event at a vulnerable developmental stage. The now discredited “apnea theory” of SIDS was proposed in the 1970s
Sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS) is a dangerous intersection of three factors: a vulnerable infant, a critical developmental period in homeostatic control, and exogenous stressors.
While there is no known cure or treatment for SIDS, there are several nursing interventions that can help prevent SIDS and ensure the safety of infants.
SIDS Age Range
Though most SIDS deaths occur in babies between one and four months of age, 90% of them happen before the baby turns six months old. However, a SIDS death can happen anytime during the first year.
SIDS peaks at two to four months, and typically occurs in the early morning hours when most babies are asleep. This suggests that sleep may be part of the pathophysiological mechanism that causes SIDS.
Why does SIDS peak at 2-4 months?
SIDS is most common at two to four months of age, when an infant’s cardiorespiratory system is in transition and, therefore unstable. This puts all infants in this age range at risk for breathing problems.
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Signs and Symptoms of SIDS
- Lethargy, irritability, poor muscle tone
- Respiratory distress: Apnea or Tachypnea
- Heart rate instability
- Temperature instability
- Vomiting and diarrhea
- Poor feeding
- Blood glucose instability
SIDS Risk Factors
- Boys are at higher risk than girls
- Low APGAR score at birth
- Exposure to smoke
- Bed sharing
- Giving birth before 37 weeks gestation
- Soft bedding material
- Side sleeping position (versus back)
Nursing Interventions For SIDS
- Monitor for signs of distress or irregular breathing patterns.
- Perform cultures and lab draws.
- Provide IV access – as well as emotional and practical support to family (including grief counseling, referrals to support groups, and assistance with funeral arrangements).
SIDS Client Education
- Place infants in the supine position during sleep
- Dress newborn in a wearable blanket or sleep sack
- Breastfeed the infant
- Have up to date vaccinations
- Ensure a smoke-free environment
- Provide a firm sleep surface for the infant
- Sleeping with the infant (NO bed-sharing, NO cosleeping)
- Loose or soft items: blankets, toys
- Stuffed animals
- Bumper pads on the sides of the crib
Infection contracted by the neonate before, during, or after delivery, due to the newborn’s limited immunity and inability to localize infection, infections can spread quickly into the bloodstream.
Neonatal sepsis is a serious medical condition affecting newborns, leading to significant morbidity and mortality.
Clinical signs of neonatal sepsis may include fever or hypothermia, tachycardia, tachypnea, poor feeding, lethargy, and apnea.
During my exam, I could literally see and hear him going over different areas as I was answering my questions.
This past Friday I retook my Maternity Hesi and this time, I decided for my last week of Holiday break to just watch all of his OB videos. I am proud to say that with Mike’s help I received a score of 928 on my Maternity Hesi!