chapter  1
Understanding SIDS and Its Impact
ByKaren Martin
Pages 42

Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS) strikes without warning, often during the night or while the infant naps during the day. Consequently, a SIDS death hurtles parents into grief; they have no time to prepare themselves psychologically. The diagnosis of SIDS requires the involvement of both police and medical experts. The police must be involved because they investigate all sudden and unexplained deaths. E. Markusen, G. Owen, R. Fulton, and R. Bendiksen suggest that family members left behind after a baby dies of SIDS are the living “victims” of the syndrome. Researchers paid little attention to the impact that a SIDS death has on the individual survivors: the parents, siblings, and grandparents of these babies. Bugens two-dimensional model helps to explain variations in the intensity and duration of grief. Indirectly, it also sheds some light on parental guilt after a baby dies of SIDS.