Petechial thymus hemorrhages are found most frequently in SIDS (87%), and very much more rarely in fetuses after abortion and stillbirths (55%) as well as in perinatal deaths (40%). In these groups, there was a uniform histological bleeding pattern with emphasis on the cortical zone. In non-SIDS deaths of natural causes or extrinsic suffocation in babies and infants, it could be demonstrated in 39%. In extrinsic suffocation, the thymus hemorrhages were mostly less pronounced in quantitative terms than in SIDS. In non-SIDS (without extrinsic suffocation), a hemorrhage pattern different from SIDS could be detected with hemorrhagias of different sizes and irregularly distributed over the cortex and medulla.