Facts & Statistics

Facts About Sudden Unexplained Death in Childhood

  • Sudden Unexplained Death in Childhood (SUDC) is a category of death in children between the ages of 1 and 18 that remains unexplained after a thorough investigation, including an autopsy.
  • Most often, a seemingly healthy child goes to sleep and never wakes up.
  • At this time, we do not know what causes SUDC, how to predict it or how to prevent it.
  • A medical examiner or coroner could rule a child’s death SUDC when s/he completes a thorough evaluation and finds no other cause of death.
  • See the National Organization for Rare Disorders' report on SUDC.

Facts About the SUDC Foundation

The SUDC Foundation is a registered 501(c)(3). The SUDC Foundation is the only organization worldwide whose purpose is to promote awareness, advocate for research and support those affected by SUDC. The SUDC Foundation provides all services at no cost to the people it serves.

How often does SUDC occur?

We do not know exactly how often SUDC occurs. Because the World Health Organization (WHO) lacks a specific way to record sudden and unexplained deaths in children that have been thoroughly investigated, it is impossible to know how widespread the problem is. Sudden Infant Death Syndome has its own code (R95), but it is not used for any deaths where the child is older than 364 days of age. The best thing we can do, at this time, is estimate deaths due to SUDC by examining the statistics of deaths with “undetermined” causes (R99). This information is displayed below. 

4 Ways We Advocate for Research

We FUND research into the CAUSE(S) of SUDC through grants
(Independent & External)

We PERFORM research to better understand family needs
(Internal)

We ENDORSE research performed by others related to SUDC

We PARTICIPATE in organizational and public research advocacy efforts

SUDC Statistics

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How do you explain SUDC to someone?

Thanks to SUDC parent Allison Kramer and the team at Hero4Hire Creative, we have a new tool to help us all raise awareness and explain this little understood phenomenon. In this short, clear and poignant video, Hero 4 Hire Creative manages to capture the facts of SUDC and its raw emotional cost, but somehow still leaves us feeling hopeful and empowered! Thank you to Hero 4 Hire Creative for this incredible holiday gift to the SUDC community!s nec ullamcorper mattis, pulvinar dapibus leo.