A SYNDROME of apparently healthy infants dying suddenly and inexplicably was described almost a century ago and has been the subject of systematic study for more than 40 years. But understanding of crucial aspects of sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS)—what causes it, which infants are at risk, and how to prevent it—is still limited.
Leaders in the field are hoping to change this by providing direction and opportunities for intensified research. The opportunities are in the form of additional funding. According to L. Stanley James, MD, chair of neonatology at Columbia Presbyterian Medical Center in New York City, "the government is now having a special rejuvenation of SIDS research, and over the next 5 years, they are going to be putting in $30 to $40 million."
The direction is supplied through a 5-year research plan recently proposed by a panel of experts under the direction of the National Institute of