Local pediatrician discusses promise of new SIDS research

Local pediatrician discusses promise of new SIDS research

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LAS VEGAS (KLAS) — Although there has been promising new research on the cause of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome, or SIDS, it’s still a difficult topic for pediatricians to discuss with families.

Dr. Carrie Wijesinghe said she is excited about the latest research on SIDS, when a child less than one year of age passes away in their sleep. An enzyme found in the blood of babies who passed away from SIDS was lower compared to babies who passed away from other causes.

“Hopefully this is the beginning of the end of SIDS,” said Dr. Wijesinghe. “Butyrylcholinesterase is the name of the enzyme, and it really is one of those enzymes that helps us be able to work with our nervous system to breathe, to have your heart rate and blood pressure appropriate.”

She said this could possibly be a new marker for pediatricians.

“Time will tell, the researchers are out there trying to figure out if this is something I might have in a clinic application, like the metabolic screens I do on my babies in the first week or two of life, or possibly another time,” she said.

She’s seen a lot of research on this topic over the past two-plus decades and is encouraged by the finding. In the meantime, she said she tells parents to do the following:

“What can maybe decrease the risk of SIDS: pacifiers and low-speed ceiling fans, everyone right now in Las Vegas has their ceiling fans on high. Put it low speed, that’s been shown to decrease SIDS.”

Also, make sure to put your baby to sleep on their back on a firm mattress, and don’t have any pillows, blankets, stuffed animals, or crib bumpers with them that could suffocate them.

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