SIDS, Sudden Infant Death Syndrome is fairly well known. SUDS, Sudden Unexpected Death Syndrome is not. I was made aware of this disorder when I asked a young woman how her baby was. She informed me that her child, had died unexpectedly a few months back. The little girl was about 2 months old.
The mother said she noticed her child was not breathing, and quickly called paramedics. They took the baby to the hospital where she was pronounced dead, from SUDS. Usually when a child dies unexpectedly under age 12 months, doctors consider it SIDS.
The term SUDS is defined as sudden unexplainable death occurring in children over age one year. The young woman was very adamant that her doctor defined the cause of death in her child as SUDS, and not SIDS, and I assume the doctors should know.
Scientists from the Montifiore Einstein Center for cardio-genetics have discovered what they have named as so-called genes of death, which has a defective protein, and is responsible for more than half of SUDS deaths, and 30 percent of deaths from SIDS. This protein is responsible for an electrical problem in the heart, which can trigger sudden death.
Twice, in 1981when my firstborn was under age 6 months, he went limp in my arms. I had never heard of SIDS or SUDS, but I knew something was wrong. Both times, my grandmother put cold water on a wash cloth, and lay it across his face. This quickly brought my son around. And I am thankful he did not have any similar episodes while he slept.
There is a website where those who have been affected by SUDS can find support. It is called the Sudden Unexplained Death In Childhood program, SUDC. They offer grief services, medical/forensic information, and memorials.
SUDS is only named the cause of death in a child, after a thorough examination has ruled out all other possibilities.The death of a child is always difficult, and especially so, when that death is sudden, unexpected, and unexplained.