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Cot death among children of nurses. Observations of breathing patterns.
  1. F Mandell


    Research into cot death has recently been focused on a search for pre-existing chronic abnormalities rather than on the immediate events before death. Because nurses are trained observers, 30 nurses who had lost children by cot death were questioned. In particular, they were asked about any respiratory symptoms which had been present in the absence of respiratory tract infection. Some (37%) of the nurse mothers had noted unusual respiratory events (wheezing, apnoea, irregular respiration, or cyanosis) in their children during the early months of life. Only 6% on non-nurse mothers who similarly had lost children recalled respiratory difficulties. None of the 60 nurse mothers with healthy infants gave a history of respiratory difficulties in the absence of infection. The importance of taking a careful history from any parent who loses a child by cot death is stressed.

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