Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Matthew was born 2 1/2 years too early

A finding came out in the Journal of the American Medical Association yesterday.  The finding showed that autopsies performed on babies that suffered the tragedy of SIDS had a serotonin level 26% lower than healthy babies and babies that died from other causes.  It also found that those babies had low levels of the enzyme tryptophan hydroxylase, which is needed to make serotonin.

Which means, that screening can now become available to find babies that are at risk for SIDS.  Which means that after decades of being taught that back to sleep, no smoking, no blankets, no bumpers, breastfeeding only, pacifiers, fans in the room, staying away from illnesses and everything else that we've been told will prevent SIDS by reducing all the risks are now being trumped by a better way.

Soon, we will be able to screen a baby and correct those levels.  Soon we will be able to truly prevent SIDS and hopefully eradicate this awful disease from existence.  What an amazing discovery.  

While I am incredibly grateful that in our lifetime SIDS may no longer rip apart happy families and end the lives of our most innocent citizens, I can also find myself feeling incredibly bitter that this seemingly simple discovery wasn't made 2 1/2 years ago and our Matthew could have been spared.  I wish I could just be happy that this means we can have the fear of SIDS for future children taken away from the table, I really just wish we could have found this discovery 2 1/2 years ago and have our little boy here playing with us and enjoying the love and attention of his family.

The same researches may have also discovered why boys are more susceptible.

This is truly an amazing discovery.

Journal Study 

NPR Interview 


Med Page Article 


AKD said...

I hadn't seen that, Denise - thank you so much for sharing. I wish that this had come in time to help Matthew, as well. Hugs.

aalcanter said...

:( When Daniel was born the literature for SIDS was overwhelming. They handed me the packet right after he was born and as he lay in my arms, I remember reviewing the literature and becoming increasingly paranoid about what I could and couldn't do. This screening is a blessing in so many ways.
You and Matthew are in my thoughts and prayers.