MCV/Q, Medical College of Virginia Quarterly

MCV/Q, Medical College of Virginia Quarterly


Dorothy Kelly

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MCV/Q, Medical College of Virginia Quarterly





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From 1959 to 1966, Dr. Richard Naeye, a pathologist at Hershey Medical School, participated in the Collaborative Perinatal Project which studied 53,518 pregnancies. Of the infants subsequently born, 125 died of the Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS). Through the mass of information gleaned from looking at the pregnancies, labor, delivery, examination of the placenta and subsequent events in the infants’ lives, Dr. Naeye was able to determine nine historical factors that increase an infant’s risk of dying of SIDS. According to his statistical analyses, these are additive factors so that the presence of a number of them increase the risk in any one infant. The risk factors are 1) poor prenatal care, that is, few prenatal visits; 2) maternal smoking; 3) maternal anemia; 4) abnormal insertion of the umbilical cord, 5) lymphocytic infiltration of the decidua at the placental margin; 6) blood group B; 7) premature delivery; 8) abnormal neurological evaluation of the infant at the time of discharge from the hospital; 9) crowding in the home, that is, more than 2.0 people per room. In addition, there are two clinical factors that increase an infant’s risk of dying of SIDS. These include a history of apnea and a family history of two siblings who have had apnea or died of SIDS.


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