A review of the literature on the possible causes for SIDS leads one to find that it is still not known for certain what is the true etiology of the condition. Some speculate that genetic brain abnormalities, respiratory conditions, or even premature birth may play a role. One source even states that no genetic factors are causative and that the etiology is considered to be unknown. Since delving into adult causes of sudden cardiac death, an event occurred that caused a need to look at the pediatric cases to see if a marker similar to the one found in adults also occurred in children. There are some authors who have speculated that cardiac arrhythmias may be one of the causative factors of infant sudden death. Long QT syndrome is the arrhythmia that has been speculated to be the one possibly linked to SIDS. Unfortunately it is not possible to do an Ekg after a death has occurred so a definitive association is not possible using current conventional methods, which brings up the event that ignited this search into the condition.
A toddler, just days before the second birth day was found unresponsive by caretakers of the child. It was a tragic event that affected the whole community for those who followed the media coverage of the case. It was speculated that child abuse by the caretakers could have been the cause of the child’s death. I myself became touched by the story as the the cute little boy’s photo was on the television. The timing was such in my research work that I could afford to do some investigation in the case myself. The childs date of birth was gleaned from the news story since the birth date of the child’s identical twin (yes identical twin) transpired while the coroner completed the autopsy of the deceased sibling twin. In my analysis was found the markers of sudden cardiac death that were also found in adults. The markers were in fact stronger in the child. I became very anxious at this point realizing that this child had an identical twin and it was my spiritual obligation to warn the parent that Long QT cardiac arrhythmia has been found to occur in identical twins.
First, I contacted my friend who was a former employee of the news station to get him to get the reporter of the story to contact me so that I could tell her of my findings and for her to tell the mom, or have the mom to call me as soon as possible. After receiving no timely response, I decided to look for the home of the family from evidence in the news story. I found the care takers but the mom was not living there any more nor was she having any contact with them since the physicians gave the impression that the child suffered some possible head trauma. They had no way of contacting her. Not until finding out the name of the funeral home was I able to contact someone who could give a message to the mother. The lady at the funeral home office took my name and number on the day of the funeral and gave it to the mother who finally called me. I told her of my findings and advised her to get the surviving twin evaluated as soon as possible. After asking her a few more questions she revealed that the twins were delivered by cesarean section like many twin births. So it became apparent to me that my fears about surgical delivery were indeed true. The time of the birth can determine the phenotype that causes SIDS. In this case the time and day of birth are determined not by genes but by the physician doing the surgical delivery. I was aware of the influence of birth time and tendency to adult disease but never considered that sudden death in infants can also be caused by surgical delivery.
Since this case, another one popped up in the news. My nephew’s wife’s former husband was arrested along with his live in girl friend and accused of child abuse on the part of the father and murder for the girlfriend. It is reported that the child was found unresponsive and having a seizure by the girlfriend who was the only adult with the child at the time. From the literature, long QT syndrome is notorious for causing seizures during the cardiac arrest event. Anyone knowing of seizure activity is aware of some physical bruising and even brain trauma that can result from flailing and banging one’s head against the floor or other nearby objects. Surely, this child could have been abused by these adults and could have even killed the child accidentally or via intentional physical abuse, but it is the obligation of forensic pathologists to be able to distinguish when physical trauma is the result of real abuse or from cases of sudden cardiac death. Sadly and tragically, the current methodology of physicians and coroners does not have the ability to give an adequate assessment of these situations. The coroner’s office is doing the best they can I am sure with the available tools they now have. Since it is not possible to do an Ekg on a dead person, there is a very dangerous situation that exists in the coroner’s office that needs immediate and drastic attention. My research now has the ability to identify cases of sudden cardiac death or SIDS that occurs in or outside of the neonatal period.
Those whose job is to provide justice in our society need to make a serious effort to make sure that they have all the knowledge available to make sure that persons are not prosecuted and even convicted of murder because of obvious inadequacies in the coroner’s office. I am hereby making a plea to those who work with the prosecutor’s office or law enforcement to take a serious look at the new research in this area and help prevent terrible tragedies from being perpetrated on persons who may indeed be innocent. If you are really serious about justice and doing what is right, do the right thing. If there is anything you can do to help this research have an honest assessment, it is the right thing to do. If not, well, it would be a sad, sad statement on the function and efficacy of the criminal justice system. It is a very scary thought that people would rather lock potentially innocent people up than to admit that someone actually knows something that they do not know. God will not look kindly on these persons. It is a crime itself to ignore progress especially when real human suffering can be prevented.
For those who are interested, it is now possible to determine recessive traits in the phenotype of individuals from just having a birth date alone for a person of interest. If the the exact time of birth is available, dominance and strength of the trait can be determined to tell if early or later events are possible. In other words, the stronger the trait, the earlier the event and can result in SIDS or early childhood cases. Long QT syndrome is manageable by a competent cardiologist even in the pediatric population. There is a celebrity who was diagnosed with a heart arrhythmia in childhood and is now a successful artist in her field. Hence it is urgent that both the medical community and the criminal justice community give this research its just hearing. Those who are familiar with my work should take the lead and get this knowledge integrated in the process as soon as possible. Those already deeply indebted to me for prior deeds should be the first to implement these needed changes. A joint venture is possible to help atone for these deeds. This should be an offer that should not be refused for future earthly and heavenly rewards. It may indeed help some from becoming genetic cripples in the future life.