Cot death kills two babies in Hanoi

By Le Nga   October 20, 2022 | 11:27 pm PT
Vietnam National Hospital of Pediatrics has recorded two cot deaths involving babies aged 3 and 6 months old within the past week.

The first case involved a 6-month baby boy who was put to sleep on his own in a room after he had been fed.

By the time he finished his meal, the boy was completely healthy and normal, as his family recalled.

The boy was rushed to a local hospital after his parents found out he was lying with his face down. They could not feel his heartbeat while his body had turned purple.

The local hospital recovered his heart rate and transferred him to the Vietnam National Hospital of Pediatrics, said Dr. DinhThi Thu Phuong of the hospital’s Emergency Department.

By then, he had fallen into a deep coma and suffered respiratory and circulatory failure, with his condition worsening to the point doctors could not save him.

He was concluded to have died via cot death, or "sudden infant death syndrome" (SIDS), a sudden, unexpected and unexplained death of an apparently healthy baby, said Dr. Le Ngoc Duy, head of the Emergency Department.

The second case was a 3-month-old baby girl.

Her family said on the night of Wednesday, she slept with her parents and around 1:30 a.m. on Thursday, the mother checked and found she had stopped breathing after her entire body had turned purple.

She was also taken to the Vietnam National Hospital of Pediatrics and confirmed dead later due to SIDS.

The syndrome mostly happens among babies two to four months old when they are asleep.

Before it happens, there is completely no abnormal signs, said Duy.

The syndrome would lead to sudden death caused by suffocation, brain hemorrhage and myocarditis.

The exact cause of SIDS remains unknown, though doctors say several factors should be noticed, including keeping babies from sleeping with their faces down and preventing situations in which there are too many items like pillows, stuffed animal toys and thick blankets that could affect the way babies breathe.

A mattress that is too soft is not recommended as the baby could easily turn around and bury their face, leading to suffocation.

The temperature inside the room should be adjusted and the baby be covered tightly in a cloth or blanket.

Doctors recommend that babies should be put to sleep separately in a cradle placed next to their caregiver's bed instead of sharing the same bed or put to sleep alone in a separate room.

Other advice includes boosting metabolism of babies and avoiding smoking and using alcohol during pregnancy. It is also better for babies to be breastfed.

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