A Seattle doctor believes he has discovered what causes SIDS

dr daniel rubens

Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS) is a mysterious and cruel killer, taking otherwise healthy babies and toddlers in their sleep. For years, nobody has been able to point to the cause of the tragedy, but Dr. Daniel Rubens believes he is close—very close. Rubens has been researching possible causes of SIDS for the past 11 years and he has discovered a link to an undetected, inner-ear dysfunction. Rubens believes that this inner-ear damage means that these babies lack the trigger that tells them to reposition themselves or, in many cases, they are just too young to sit up or move enough. Instead of being able to move around and resume breathing, the babies suffocate. This notion came from an earlier research study into SIDS deaths, which indicated the link to infant hearing problems, and post-mortem studies have revealed bleeding and extensive damage in the inner ear following a SIDS event. The solution? Rubens is working toward research that would call for earlier hearing tests for babies—within 48 hours of birth—with stringent follow-up exams for babies who score low on their initial testing. With early detection and treatment, Rubens hopes that we can one day eradicate SIDS, which currently causes 4,000 infant deaths each year in the United States.

via Seattle Times

Image via Steve Ringman/The Seattle Times

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6 Responses to “A Seattle doctor believes he has discovered what causes SIDS”

  1. Jaybonesjones@gmail.com says:

    Unfortunately this study completely ignore all the relevant statistical data on babies most likely to die in infancy with unknown cause. Parental smoking, premature birth, more boys V girls, overheating, sleep position, SIDS existing only in western style countries etc. how does this study explain and fit with what we already have confirmed.

  2. phez2 says:

    Interesting link – my daughter 12 years ago was diagnosed as a near miss sids case – she was found 5 weeks old pale & unresponsive – She survived this episode as we were give a neonatal rest. monitor which would go off regularly until she it the milestones 2 moths, 4 moths 8 moths etc . She also has chronic ear infections and had grommets but in at 18mths due to pain & fluid.

  3. Becysue says:

    My son who is now 27 survived a near miss SIDS episode when he was a boarder patient at a hospital and found by a nurse. At the time SIDS was very common. He normally slept on his back but because of hospital policy was placed on his front on a very soft tea tree bark mattress which was the latest thing at the time.Very soon after this the Australian researcher found that front sleeping on soft surfaces increased risk of SIDS and Australian death rates were greatly reduced. Interestingly about these findings is that my son had numerous ear problems and had poor spacial awareness. I believe that it is a series of unfortunate combination of factors results in tragedy. Australia’s Red Nose Day was a great awareness and fundraising initiative.

  4. mflint says:

    I lost a 4 month old boy to SIDS had just got him ready to go feed the ducks at park, laid him on bed while got my other sons shoes on, went back to get him and he was dead, He did not suffocate. I did not smoke, he was not premature, he scored 10 out of 10 on the Apgar scale, autopsy found he was in perfect health, and yet he died.

  5. LeslieL. says:

    Oh mflint, how tragic. I’m so very very sorry.

  6. JanetT says:

    Very interested to learn that SIDS may be linked to hearing problem, I have a 5 year old grandson who is perfecty healthy apart from having a hearing problem in both ears and wears hearing aids. However, he had a sister born when he was two years old, who seemed perfectly healthy but unfortunately died aged just 3 weeks old (she would have been three this coming May). I now have another grandson, who at 5 months old and with extra monitoring seems to be perfectly healthy hopefully. We are keeping fingers crossed that he does not have a hearing difficulty.

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