International Journal of Legal Medicine

, Volume 106, Issue 4, pp 205–208 | Cite as

Sudden unexpected nocturnal deaths among Thai immigrant workers in Singapore

The possible role of toxigenic bacteria
  • C. C. Blackwell
  • A. Busuttil
  • D. M. Weir
  • A. T. Saudi
  • S. D. Esseryl
Original Articles

Summary

Sudden Unexpected Nocturnal. Deaths (SUND) occur in young, apparently healthy immigrant workers from Thailand, the Philippines and Bangladesh living among ex-patriot labour forces in countries such as Singapore and Saudi Arabia. Several factors associated with these deaths are similar to those observed for Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS): sleep related and mainly noturnal occurrence; no prodromal illnesses other than mild respiratory tract infection; exposure to cigarette smoke; absence of invasive microorganisms at autopsy. The hypotheses proposed to explain these deaths in adults are examined. Based on our studies of the role toxigenic bacteria might play in some cases of SIDS, we suggest a new approach to the investigation of SUND.

Key words

Unexpected deaths Toxins SUND 

Zusammenfassung

Plötzliche unerwartete nächtliche Todesfälle (SUND) ereignen sich bei jungen, offensichtlich gesunden Einwanderungs-Arbeitern aus Thailand, den Philippinen und aus Bangladesh, welche zwischen heimatlichen Arbeitskräften in Ländern wie Singapur und Saudi-Arabien leben. Mehrere Faktoren, welche mit diesen Todesfällen assoziiert sind, sind ähnlich zu jenen, welche für das Syndrom des plötzlichen Kindstodes (SIDS) beobachtet wurden: Beziehung zum Schlaf und im wesentlichen nächtliches Auftreten; keine prodromalen Erkrankungen, außer einer geringen Infektion des Respirationstrakts; Exposition zu Zigarettenrauch; Fehlen von invasiven Mikroorganismen bei der Obduktion. Die Hypothesen, welche vorgeschlagen wurden, um diese Todesfälle zu erklären, werden untersucht. Basierend auf unseren Untersuchungen über die Rolle, welche toxinproduzierende Bakterien in einigen SIDS-Fällen spielen könnten, schlagen wir eine neue Annäherung für die Untersuchung von SUND vor.

Schlüsselwörter

Plötzliche unerwartete Nacht-Todesfälle (SUND) Risikofaktoren Ätiologie 

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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 1994

Authors and Affiliations

  • C. C. Blackwell
    • 1
  • A. Busuttil
    • 2
  • D. M. Weir
    • 1
  • A. T. Saudi
    • 1
  • S. D. Esseryl
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Medical MicrobiologyUniversity of Edinburgh, Medical SchoolEdinburghGreat Britain
  2. 2.Forensic Medicine Unit, Department of PathologyUniversity of Edinburgh, Medical SchoolEdinburghGreat Britain

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