We are concerned about increasing usage of the terms ‘near-miss for SIDS’and ‘aborted SIDS’ which tend to create confusion about the relationship between apnea and the sudden infant death syndrome. The latter was defined in 1969 as the sudden, unexpected and unexplained death of an apparently healthy infant. The role of apnea in the causation of these inexplicable deaths is currently the subject of intensive scientific investigation—and not yet fully clarified. Some infants who die suddenly and inexplicably may well represent instances of death due directly to episodes of not breathing. However, it is probable that there remain other as yet unidentified or unproven causes.
Therefore, we propose that the term ‘infantile apnea’ be used when appropriate, in place of ‘near-miss for SIDS’ or ‘aborted SIDS.’ Apnea has many causes, some known and some unknown.
- Copyright © 1981 by the American Academy of Pediatrics