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Sudden infant death due to disseminated pneumococcal infection
  1. S Thayyil,
  2. V N Murthy,
  3. F Thompson
  1. Department of Paediatrics, Northampton General Hospital, Northampton, UK
  1. Correspondence to:
    Dr S Thayyil, 1 Argus Close, Gateshead NE11 9TA, UK;

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The Office of National Statistics, England has reported approximately 13 deaths in children per year as a result of invasive pneumococcal disease (meningitis, septicaemia, pneumonia) between 1989 and 1999 in England and Wales. This is thought to be an underestimate; the actual incidence is supposed to be at least three times higher.1 However, sudden infant death syndrome as a result of pneumococcal disease in a previously healthy child is extremely rare.2

A 6 month old infant with a 10 day history of coryzal symptoms suddenly became cyanotic and apnoeic while playing at home. She was immediately taken to the emergency department where cardiopulmonary resuscitation was unsuccessful. Previously she had been a thriving infant growing along the 75th centile. She had been seen three times by a health care provider in the past week, …

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