SUDC – The Little Known Killer of Children

In April 2014, healthy 14-month-old baby Moss Pieratt woke up with a little bit of a fever. Globo wrote about his parents thought that it had to do with his teething. However, his mother put him down for a nap, and when she came back, he wasn’t breathing. He was rushed to Dell Children’s Medical Center and put on life support. Within 36 hours, he had passed away. His parents were absolutely devastated, as well as floored from the unexpected loss.

It has been over a year since Moss’ death, and his parents still do not know what happened. Some research done by the family showed that it was Sudden Unexplained Death in Childhood, or SUDC. SUDC is essentially the sudden and unexplainable death of a child older than one year. It can affect children, from toddlers to teenagers. Because these cases are so rare, not much research has been done as of yet. In 2013, SUDC took the lives of 223 children aged one to four, 28 children aged five to nine, 29 children aged 10 to 14, and 107 children aged 15 to 19.

The New York Langone Medical Center is home to the SUDC Registry. Here, Columbia University researchers are performing genetic analyses on children who have died due to SUDC.

The Pieratts have had another baby; her name is Madeline Moss Pieratt. They have set up a foundation in their late son’s name.

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