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Secrets revealed behind cot deaths

A new Norwegian survey reveals that half of all the cot deaths have a natural explanation after all.

Between 50 and 60 Norwegian children under the age of four die of so-called cot deaths every year. In a Norwegian project, medical examiners and a police investigator have surveyed the deaths in order to find the reason for this type of deaths. 47 cases were surveyed.

The cause of death was not identified in only 12 of the 47 cases. In other words, in these cases the deaths could be defined as cot deaths. 12 deaths were due to illness, eight to accidents, and two to neglect, while one of the deaths was due to abuse.

“We find the reason for about half of the sudden and unexpected deaths, either by examining the place where they died or by doing an autopsy. The deaths can thereby not be defined as cot deaths,” said Torleiv Ole Rognum, professor at Rettsmedisinsk institutt at the University of Oslo to the Norwegian daily Aftenposten.

Rognum is together with the Lisbeth Sveum, a former Kripos investigator, leading the investigation where several other experts participate.

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