SIDS Program Manual SIDS & Infant Death Program Manual and Trainer's Guide Trainer's Guide

Appendix B

Glossary

Gene: A part of the DNA in a cell that contains information in a special pattern received by each human, animal or plant from its parents and which controls its physical development and behavior.

Genetics: The study of how, in all living things, the characteristics and qualities of parents are given to their children by their genes.

Gestation: The period of an infant’s development while it is inside the mother’s body.

Gestational Age: The duration of time an infant spent in utero. Normal is 40 weeks.

Hemoglobin: Substance in red blood cells that carries oxygen and gives blood its red color.

Histology: The scientific study of the structure of tissue from plants, animals and humans.

Hypothesis: An idea or explanation of something that is based on known facts but has not yet been proven.

Hypotonia: Decreased tone of skeletal muscles; floppiness.

Hypoxemia: Low levels of oxygen in the blood.

Hypoxia: Low levels of oxygen in tissues.

Incidence: An event or the rate at which something happens.

Larynx: The hollow organ in the neck at the entrance of the airways.

Lividity: Dark, pooled blood on the dependent side of the body. May have the appearance of bruising. The pattern of lividity helps determine the position of the body at the time of and following death.

Low Birth Weight (LBW): Birth of an infant weighing less than 2,500 grams.

Lymphocytes: A type of white blood cell involved in the defense systems of the organism to fight infection.

Mechanical Suffocation: Occurs when external pressure is applied to the body preventing chest movement and respiration.

Metabolic Disease: Disease that involves complex biochemical processes. In the context of SUID, such diseases have been identified in a small percentage of cases.

Metabolism: All the chemical processes in the body, especially those that cause food to be used for energy and growth.

Methane: Colorless, odorless gas with a wide distribution in nature.

Multi-Disciplinary Research: Research of scientists and experts from different fields working together to address a complex problem.

Miscarriage (Spontaneous Abortion): Death of an embryo or fetus prior to 20 weeks of gestation.

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