Sudden Unexpected Infant Death (SUID) is the sudden and unexpected death of an infant (less than one year of age) when the cause and manner of death are not immediately obvious prior to an investigation. This is an overall term for one of three types of infant deaths: Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS), unknown cause (no investigation completed), and accidental suffocation and strangulation in bed (ASSB).
Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS) is the sudden death of an infant less than 1 year of age that cannot be explained after a thorough investigation is conducted, including a complete autopsy, examination of the death scene, and a review of the medical history.
Accidental Suffocation and Strangulation in Bed (ASSB) is the leading cause of infant injury death. Mechanisms that lead to accidental suffocation or strangulation include
- Suffocation by soft bedding, such as when a pillow or waterbed mattress covers an infant’s nose and mouth.
- Overlay—when another person rolls on top of or against the infant while sleeping
- Wedging or entrapment—when an infant is wedged between two objects, such as a mattress and wall, bed frame, or furniture.
- Strangulation—when an infant’s head and neck become caught between crib rails or another structure