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Infection and sudden unexpected death in infancy

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The interpretation of microbiological findings from samples taken at autopsy in cases of sudden unexpected death in infancy (SUDI) may be difficult and disputed. A retrospective systematic review of the autopsy findings, including bacteriology, in 507 cases of SUDI has been reported from the Great Ormond Street Hospital for children, London (MA Weber and colleagues. The Lancet 2008;371:1843–53; see also Comment, ibid: 1815–6).

There were 546 autopsies of SUDI victims between 1996 and 2005. In 39 cases there was proved or possible viral or pneumocystis infection or secondary bacterial infection after attempted resuscitation and …

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