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Progress In Research On SIDS
Progress In Research On SIDS


MILESTONES IN THE HISTORY OF SIDS

1834 - Dr. S.W. Fearn notes in a letter to Lancet his postmortem findings of two children, which anticipate the current findings of SIDS.

1842 - Dr. C.A. Lee publishes an article in the American Journal of Medical Science on the abnormally large thymus gland in infants as a possible cause of sudden infant deaths.

1892 - Dr. C. Templeman publishes an article in the Edinburgh Medical Journal based on his autopsy and investigative findings attributing sudden infant deaths to suffocation, but he describes typical pathological findings similar to SIDS.

1945 - Dr. P.V. Woolley, Jr., publishes an article in the Journal of Pediatrics exploring the relationship of mechanical suffocation during infancy to the problem of sudden infant death. He argues that much evidence for the belief that healthy infants die from suffocation rests on folklore.

1953 - Doctors J.J. Werne and I. Garrow of the Office of the Medical Examiner in New York City publish the first systematic, documented, detailed, and objective analyses of a series of SIDS autopsies in the American Journal of Pathology.

1960 - The Guild for Infant Survival and the National SIDS Foundation, voluntary parent support organizations, are founded.

1963 - First International Conference on Causes of Sudden Infant Death is held in Seattle, Washington.

1969 - Second International Conference on Causes of Sudden Death in Infants is held in Seattle, Washington. The term SIDS is coined and defined as the sudden death of any infant or young child, which is unexpected by history, and in which a thorough post mortem examination fails to demonstrate an adequate cause of death.

1974 - Sudden Infant Death Syndrome Act of 1974 (PL 93-270) is passed by the U.S. Congress. The law assigns responsibility to the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development to conduct SIDS research. The Maternal and Child Health Bureau is delegated the information and counseling component of the legislation.

1975 - The National Center for Health Statistics introduces the code for SIDS into the Eighth Revision of the International Classification of Diseases, Adapted for Use in the United States.

1976 - Investigative protocol for examining SIDS infants is developed by a group of pathologists, toxicologists, and other health professionals convened in New Mexico by the Maternal and Child Health program. The report of this group's findings was published by forensic pathologists A.M. Jones and J.T. Weston in the Journal of Forensic Sciences.

1977 - The National Institute of Child Health and Human Development initiates a cooperative epidemiologic study of SIDS risk factors. This case-controlled study collected and analyzed data from six centers in the United States.

1979 - The World Health Organization recognizes SIDS as an official cause of death.

1981 - International Conference on SIDS is convened in Brussels, Belgium.

1982 - International Research Conference on SIDS is convened in Baltimore, Maryland.

1987 - International Research Conference on SIDS is convened in Lake Como, Italy.

1987 - Association of SIDS Program Professionals (ASPP), representing SIDS information and counseling programs in the United States and Canada, is established.

1989 - The National Institute of Child Health and Human Development begins implementation of the 5-year SIDS research plan, as mandated by Congress.

1989 - An expert panel convened by the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development revises the definition of SIDS to be the sudden death of an infant under 1 year of age which remains unexplained after a thorough case investigation, including performance of a complete autopsy, examination of the death scene, and review of the clinical history. A report on the conference and the development of the definition is published in Pediatric Pathology.

1992 - SIDS Family International Conference and Global Strategy for SIDS Symposium is held in Sydney, Australia, in February. Perinatology Press will publish the proceedings in early 1994.