Lullaby Trust Conducting SIDS Research

Could The Lullaby Trust Be Close to Finding the Cause of SIDS?


An anesthesiologist at Seattle Children’s Hospital is teaming up with The Lullaby Trust in the United Kingdom, to study the “Oto-Acoustic Signals in SIDS.” Dr. Daniel Rubens and his colleagues launched a two-year study this past May.  This study is investigating the correlation between SIDS deaths and hearing alterations on newborn hearing screen tests.

Rubens worked researching without funding and studied cases of infants that had died due to SIDS. He found in a large number of the cases, the infant had tested significantly lower hearing levels in the right ear. He proposed that delicate vestibular cells in the inner ear are damaged during the birthing process (SIDS Guild).

Rubens combed through SIDS research, and while there is a staggering amount of material and possible problems that are being covered, the inner ear is not being sufficiently explored. Rubens and his fellow researchers at the Lullaby Trust believe creating a more intuitive, hearing test may be the key to determining if an infant is more apt to suffer from a SIDS related death. He strives for a test that provides accurate results and is careful to avoid a test that provides false negatives and false positives (Puget Sound Business Journal, April 18, 2016).

Those delicate cells within the inner ear are well known for their role in maintaining balance, are also believed to be responsible for transmitting the information that regulates breathing and arousal when an infant is exposed to a suffocating environment. A dysfunction in that inner ear function resulted in the inability to wake up, and/or move away from suffocating gas mixtures. Rubens and his colleagues at the Lullaby Trust contend that all babies can move into positions that restrict their breathing while asleep. Infants with a hearing impairment in at least one ear do NOT have the automatic “survival mechanism” to rouse and reposition themselves (SIDS Guild).

Elevated Core Temperature is Also Examined in the Lullaby Trust Study

The Lullaby Trust study also examines the “thermal stress” that infants with inner ear problems face – many infant crib mattresses artificially elevate the core body temperature of the infant and can cause undue arousal throughout sleep. Without air permeability of a mattress, babies cannot self-regulate their core temperature and this causes an imbalance in sleep, and babies do not successfully “read” their body signals to move out of positions that cause them to re-breath their carbon dioxide (Pediatrics AAP Publications).

Regardless of an inner ear issue, or inability to self-regulate body core temperature, there is one infant mattress on the market that helps keep core temperatures stable – not too hot, not too cold. The Secure Beginnings mattress is a completely breathe-through crib mattress and has been scientifically tested to dramatically decrease the retention of carbon dioxide.  There is no safer infant mattress on the market. The team at Secure Beginnings holds their crib mattress to higher standards than any other infant mattress on the market.

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