A diagnosis of SIDS requires a complete autopsy and scene investigation and can only be diagnosed if both the scene and the autopsy are unremarkable. There is no provable cause of death.
Questions and observations of the scene:
1. Sleeping conditions. Was the child sleeping with the parents, in their bed or in his own crib?
2. Were there soft pillows or conditions in which the child could have suffocated on bedding or in between parts of the crib, bed, or other furniture?
3. When was the child last seen and fed?
4. There may be bloody fluid exuding from the mouth. This is commonly seen in a SIDS death.
5. Do the caretaker's statements fit the body? Are livor and rigor appropriate for the reported times given?
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