cot death

(redirected from cot deaths)
Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus, Encyclopedia.

death

 [deth]
the cessation of all physical and chemical processes that invariably occurs in all living organisms. (See also dying.) There is at present no standardized diagnosis of clinical death or precise definition of human death. The most widely known and commonly accepted means of determining death evolved from several medical conferences held in the late 1960s for the purpose of defining irreversible coma or nonfunctioning brain as a new criterion for death. The indications of deep irreversible coma (or brain death) are (1) absolute unresponsiveness to externally applied stimuli; (2) cessation of movement and breathing, including no spontaneous breathing for three minutes after an artificial respirator has been turned off; and (3) complete absence of cephalic reflexes. The pupils of the eyes must be dilated and unresponsive to direct light.

Use of the electroencephalogram is also recommended as being of value in confirmation of irreversible coma or death. If there is a flat electroencephalographic reading at the time of apparent death and a second flat reading 24 hours later, then the patient may be declared dead.

There are two exceptions to the above criteria. These are in regard to patients exhibiting marked hypothermia (body temperature below 32.2°C), and those suffering from severe central nervous system depression as a result of drug overdose.

It is recognized that the above criteria are limited in that the notion of irreversibility is not readily agreed upon and may take on new meaning as medical technology advances. The criteria are especially helpful as complements to the traditional criteria of absence of heart beat and lack of spontaneous respiration as indications of death.

In 1981, a Presidential Commission for the Study of Ethical Problems in Medicine and Biomedical and Behavioral Research strongly recommended that all of the United States recognize the cessation of brain function as a definition of death, even in cases in which life-support systems could maintain respiratory and circulatory functions by artificial means.
activation-induced cell death (AICD) recognition and deletion of T lymphocytes that have been activated and so induced to proliferate. T lymphocytes are activated when a foreign agent is perceived, and AICD thereby prevents them from overgrowth. It is particularly important for regulation of lymphocytes that recognize self antigens.
black death bubonic plague; see plague.
brain death (cerebral death) see brain death.
clinical death the absence of heart beat (no pulse can be felt) and cessation of breathing.
cot death (crib death) sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS).
programmed cell death the theory that particular cells are programmed to die at specific sites and at specific stages of development.

sud·den in·fant death syn·drome (SIDS),

[MIM*272120]
the sudden death of an apparently healthy infant that remains unexplained after all known possible causes have been ruled out through autopsy, death scene investigation, and review of the medical history.
Synonym(s): cot death, crib death

SIDS is the leading cause of death in infants between 1 week and 1 year of age, with an approximate rate of 2 per 1,000 live births; 6000-7000 babies die of SIDS every year in the U.S. The peak age is 2-4 months and the most deaths occur during the colder months (October to April in the northern hemisphere). The case definition specifically excludes death due to drugs or poisons, apnea, respiratory infection, suffocation, aspiration of vomitus, choking, accidental strangulation, or child abuse. Most victims appear healthy before death, which occurs rapidly, usually during sleep. SIDS strikes families of all races and socioeconomic levels. It is slightly more common in males, and the second child is more susceptible than the first. Some theories suggest a congenital or developmental defect, but the phenomenon does not show familial clustering. Statistical studies have identified certain risk factors, among them maternal smoking before and after birth, inadequate prenatal care, low birth weight, young maternal age, and maternal hard drug use. Some but not all studies have suggested that breast-feeding slightly reduces the risk. Gastric infection with Helicobacter pylori has been speculatively implicated in some cases. The most important risk factor identified to date is sleeping in the prone position. Sleeping on the side is less dangerous than sleeping prone but more dangerous than sleeping supine. The reason for these differences is unknown, but the incidence of SIDS has declined markedly since 1992, when the American Academy of Pediatrics first recommended that healthy infants be placed on their backs for sleep. For infants with gastroesophageal reflux, swallowing dysfunction, or unilateral vocal cord paralysis, the prone position may be preferred. For healthy infants, the supine position does not increase the risk of vomiting and aspiration. Current medical practice emphasizes reduction of risk through avoidance of the prone sleeping position and of maternal smoking, and education, counseling, and emotional support of the parents of victims.


sud·den in·fant death syn·drome (SIDS),

[MIM*272120]
the sudden death of an apparently healthy infant that remains unexplained after all known possible causes have been ruled out through autopsy, death scene investigation, and review of the medical history.
Synonym(s): cot death, crib death

SIDS is the leading cause of death in infants between 1 week and 1 year of age, with an approximate rate of 2 per 1,000 live births; 6000-7000 babies die of SIDS every year in the U.S. The peak age is 2-4 months and the most deaths occur during the colder months (October to April in the northern hemisphere). The case definition specifically excludes death due to drugs or poisons, apnea, respiratory infection, suffocation, aspiration of vomitus, choking, accidental strangulation, or child abuse. Most victims appear healthy before death, which occurs rapidly, usually during sleep. SIDS strikes families of all races and socioeconomic levels. It is slightly more common in males, and the second child is more susceptible than the first. Some theories suggest a congenital or developmental defect, but the phenomenon does not show familial clustering. Statistical studies have identified certain risk factors, among them maternal smoking before and after birth, inadequate prenatal care, low birth weight, young maternal age, and maternal hard drug use. Some but not all studies have suggested that breast-feeding slightly reduces the risk. Gastric infection with Helicobacter pylori has been speculatively implicated in some cases. The most important risk factor identified to date is sleeping in the prone position. Sleeping on the side is less dangerous than sleeping prone but more dangerous than sleeping supine. The reason for these differences is unknown, but the incidence of SIDS has declined markedly since 1992, when the American Academy of Pediatrics first recommended that healthy infants be placed on their backs for sleep. For infants with gastroesophageal reflux, swallowing dysfunction, or unilateral vocal cord paralysis, the prone position may be preferred. For healthy infants, the supine position does not increase the risk of vomiting and aspiration. Current medical practice emphasizes reduction of risk through avoidance of the prone sleeping position and of maternal smoking, and education, counseling, and emotional support of the parents of victims.

cot death

n. Chiefly British
Sudden infant death syndrome.

cot death

cot death

See SUDDEN INFANT DEATH SYNDROME.
References in periodicals archive ?
Cot death is also more likely to affect boys - 56% to 44% for girls - and the babies of younger mothers.
And the situation has been exacerbated because the majority of the generation now becoming grandparents became parents significantly before 1991, when information about how to avoid cot death was far less sophisticated, says Polly Taylor, of the Foundation for the Study of Infant Deaths.
FSID said it made no difference where or when they smoke ( if a smoker shares a bed with a baby, it increases the risk of cot death even if they never smoke in bed.
Before the campaign we dealt with around 70 cot deaths a year but that has fallen to around 12.
Researchers investigated the link between cot death and socio-economic deprivation, by comparing deaths within a 'high risk' control group of young, socially deprived mothers who smoked to a random selection of parents.
A fifth of cot death infants were found with a pillow and a quarter were swaddled, suggesting potentially new risk factors emerging.
Parents who bed share with young babies face a fivefold increase in the risk of cot death.
New parents worry about a lot of things, but research shows their biggest fear is cot death.
Today, health chiefs have launched a new scheme to cut the number of cot deaths.
But studies have shown sleeping on another child's mattress has been linked with cot death.
Declan was two years and nine months when Yvonne lost him on January 24, 2008 - the 22nd anniversary of her sister's cot death at the age of six weeks.
The experts called on the Home Office and Department of Health to revise procedures for investigating cot deaths.