Physiological Basis for Risk Reduction Recommendations

A Brief Overview of Current Research Theories and Sudden Infant Death Syndrome

  1. The cause(s) of SIDS is/are not known at this time. 
    Doctors are currently conducting medical research based on a wide number of theories. It is important to note that there may not be one single thing that leads to SIDS.
  2. Different factors may interact with one another to result in a SIDS death.
  3. Current research points toward a malfunction in the lower part of the brain, including the brainstem and the cerebellum.
  4. A SIDS death could occur due to a baby’s inability to :
    1. Respond to a lack of oxygen in the environment.
    2. Respond to excessive carbon-dioxide levels in their system.
    3. Control heart rate.
    4. Control blood pressure.
    5. Regulate body temperature.
    6. Keep airways open.