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SUDC Insights

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SUDC Insights is the official blog of the SUDC Foundation which shares and discusses issues important to the understanding and the ultimate prevention of SUDC. If you have questions or issues you would like to see addressed in SUDC Insights, please let us know at sudcinsights@sudc.org.

Being a Critical Consumer of Medical Research: Understanding Association Versus Causation

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You hear the rooster crow and then you see the sun rise. The next day, you hear the rooster crow again and the sun rises again. Days go by and this happens again and again. A young child may assume that the rooster is causing the sun to rise. As adults, and savvy students of science, we know better. The rooster crowing did not cause the sun to rise. The rooster crowing is associated with the sun rising. This is an old and often cited story to illustrate the difference between association and causation. And it’s a crucial topic to revisit when reviewing new research.

Caring for the SUDC Family: Medical and Bereavement Information for the Clinicians' Consideration

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When a child dies unexpectedly, a family may feel a flood of emotions, including guilt, anger and lack of control. The clinician’s role is to offer stable support, information and compassionate care.  In order to provide the most appropriate care for families in these situations, it is necessary to understand the complexities of the grief and trauma response and to recognize that the families’ needs will change over time.

The following suggestions include considerations for both the medical and psychosocial needs of the primary family members. These provide some general guidelines and recommendations to consider, recognizing that they will need to be tailored for each individual family based on the specific circumstances of their child’s death, significant findings from the death investigation, the child/family medical history, the clinical evaluations of family members and their family circumstances.

Understanding the Incidence of Sudden Unexplained Death In Child (SUDC)

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Understanding the incidence (aka frequency) is dependent on accurate surveillance. However, due to the variations in death investigation practices across the United States and in other countries, we are limited in our ability to understand the true magnitude of SUDC. At this time, we have accurate surveillance of deaths finalized without explanation, but we can not estimate the number of deaths that are finalized with a specific cause of death that may be highly speculative or inaccurate. 

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