Sudden Unexplained Death in Childhood

Sudden Unexplained Death in Childhood (SUDC) is the sudden and unexpected death of a child over the age of 12 months, which remains unexplained after a thorough case investigation is conducted. This must include: examination of the death scene, performance of a complete autopsy, and a review of the child and family’s medical history. SUDC is a diagnosis of exclusion – given when all known and possible causes of death have been ruled out.

The Sudden Unexplained Death in Childhood (SUDC) Foundation (formerly The SUDC Foundation created in September 2001) is tasked with providing a centralized resource for information, support and advocacy. It serves families and professionals affected by the tragedy of SUDC, and promotes awareness of SUDC in communities.

SUDCs incidence is approximately 1.2 deaths per 100,000 children.  In comparison, the incidence of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS) is 54 deaths per 100,000 live births.  We do not know of any way to reduce the risk of SUDC.  It is unpredictable and unpreventable at this time, as the cause(s) are unknown.  Research dollars are crucial in uncovering the mystery of SUDC.

Most SUDC deaths occur between the ages of 1 and 3, but researchers have looked at cases of children as old as 19. Researchers are working to identify the cause(s) and risk(s) of SUDC. However, until a day when no family experiences this tragic loss, the SUDC program will continue to raise funds for research, aid in the creation of state and national legislation to further SUDC investigations, and provide programs and services for SUDC families across the country.

The SUDC Program has grown exponentially since its inception, mainly due to SUDC families across the country raising critical research dollars and raising major public awareness about this mysterious malady.  Research for SUDC is making progress, but continues to require increased funding- currently no federal funding of the SUDC Research Project exists. It is solely dependent on private donations. To help support the mission of the SUDC program please consider making a donation.