Sudden Unexplained Infant Death (SUID) is the term used to categorize the death of an infant from birth to 1 year old after a thorough exam, autopsy, and investigation result in an undetermined finding for the cause of death.
There is no way to tell the difference between an accidental suffocation and SIDS (Sudden Infant Death Syndrome) through an autopsy, so the other factors surrounding the death are important and are studied to learn how to reduce the likelihood of SUID.
In St. Joseph County from 2015 to mid-2017, there were 10 cases of SUID in our community. In every case the baby was sleeping in an adult bed and in all but one case, the baby was sharing the bed with at least one adult or child. Other risk factors present in these deaths included babies being put to sleep on their stomachs, heavy bedding and pillows on the bed, and smoking in the living environment. Mother can further help reduce the risk of SUID by not smoking during pregnancy.