Type of Evidence or Factors That Participants Reported Might Cause Them to Make a Cause-of-Death Determination of Suffocation, Overlay, Wedging, and Neck Compression or Hanging

Cause of Death and Evidence Type% (95% CI)
Suffocation (obstruction of the mouth and nose)
 Blanched lividity consistent with nose and mouth obstruction80.8 (69.9–88.4)
 Statement that infant’s nose and mouth were obstructed78.1 (66.3–86.6)
 Infant laying on pillows or soft bedding74.3 (63.4–82.8)
 Positive signs of asphyxia68.7 (57.9–77.9)
 Doll re-enactment showing that nose and mouth were obstructed65.1 (53.6–75.0)
 Foamy/bloody fluid on object that obstructed nose and mouth64.0 (53.1–73.6)
 No other competing cause of death25.7 (18.0–35.4)
 Other8.4 (4.5–14.9)
 No response8.7 (3.3–21.1)
 Statement from bed-sharer that overlay occurred81.0 (68.8–89.2)
 Lividity pattern consistent with reported circumstances78.4 (66.8–86.8)
 Sharing a sleep surface76.8 (66.0–85.0)
 Positive signs of asphyxia74.7 (64.2–82.9)
 Doll re-enactment that shows overlay position67.4 (55.9–77.2)
 Intoxicated bed-sharer66.8 (53.7–77.7)
 Overweight adult or older child bed-sharer54.8 (43.1–66.0)
 No other competing cause of death25.3 (17.8–34.5)
 Other9.1 (5.1–15.8)
 No response8.5 (3.1–21.0)
 Infant body still in wedged position87.8 (76.0–94.2)
 Lividity pattern consistent with reported circumstances78.1 (66.4–86.5)
 Positive signs of asphyxia71.4 (60.8–80.1)
 Doll re-enactment that indicates probable wedging69.6 (58.5–78.8)
 Inebriation of adults36.3 (27.0–46.6)
 No other competing cause of death26.4 (18.7–35.9)
 Other9.1 (5.1–15.9)
 No response8.2 (3.0–20.9)
Neck compression/hanging
 Infant body still in compressed/hanged position88.1 (76.3–94.5)
 Ligature or other compression marks on neck84.5 (73.2–91.6)
 Lividity pattern consistent with reported circumstances75.7 (64.3–84.4)
 Positive signs of asphyxia73.8 (63.2–82.3)
 Doll re-enactment that indicates probable neck compression/hanging64.6 (53.2–74.6)
 No other competing cause of death22.6 (15.6–31.7)
 Other8.8 (4.8–15.6)
 No response8.1 (2.8–20.8)
  • Respondents could select >1 response, so percentages may sum to a number >100%. The survey had a total of 377 respondents.