Sudden infant death syndrome in infants evaluated by apnea programs in California

Pediatrics. 1986 Apr;77(4):451-8.


Home apnea/bradycardia monitoring is frequently used in the management of infants at increased risk for sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS). However, some infants have died despite evaluation by infant apnea programs, and the benefits of home monitoring remain unproven. To determine the SIDS rate and risk factors of infants evaluated by infant apnea programs, 31 apnea programs and ten home monitor vendors in California were surveyed. Eleven (35%) of the apnea programs and four (40%) of the vendors responded. Information was obtained on 26 infants who died. Thirteen (50%) deaths were due to SIDS. Abnormal sleep studies did not predict death. Fifteen infants died despite a recommendation for home monitoring. Seven deaths occurred in association with technical errors or noncompliance with monitoring. Four deaths were due to nonaccidental trauma. The apnea programs evaluated 3,406 infants during a 5-year period; 1,841 had monitoring recommended. Term infants with apnea, subsequent siblings of SIDS victims, and infants evaluated at referral centers were more likely to have monitoring recommended than premature infants with apnea or infants evaluated at nonreferral centers (P less than .0001). Infants who had monitoring recommended were at equal risk of dying of SIDS as those who did not.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • California
  • Cooperative Behavior
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Infant, Premature
  • Male
  • Monitoring, Physiologic*
  • Parents / psychology
  • Risk
  • Sleep Apnea Syndromes / diagnosis*
  • Sleep Apnea Syndromes / mortality
  • Sudden Infant Death / epidemiology
  • Sudden Infant Death / prevention & control*
  • Surveys and Questionnaires