International Journal of Legal Medicine

, Volume 124, Issue 6, pp 631–635 | Cite as

Simultaneous sudden unexpected death in infancy of twins: case report

  • Edwin A. MitchellEmail author
  • Dawn E. Elder
  • Jane Zuccollo


Simultaneous sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS) in twins is an extremely rare event. Some believe these are natural deaths, whereas others suggest they are unnatural. We report monozygotic twins dying at 12 weeks of age. Extensive investigation concluded that the cause of death was natural. Our case fulfilled the criteria of simultaneous SIDS in twins. However, thermal stress due to excessive thermal insulation, use of a pillow and placing twins in the same cot all represent a potentially unsafe sleeping environment. We recommend the term “simultaneous sudden unexpected death in infancy of twins” to describe such cases.


SUDI Simultaneous death Twins Thermal environment Unsafe sleeping environment 



EA Mitchell is supported by the Child Health Research Foundation.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  • Edwin A. Mitchell
    • 1
    Email author
  • Dawn E. Elder
    • 2
  • Jane Zuccollo
    • 3
  1. 1.Department of PaediatricsUniversity of AucklandAucklandNew Zealand
  2. 2.Department of PaediatricsUniversity of OtagoWellingtonNew Zealand
  3. 3.Department of Obstetrics and GynaecologyUniversity of OtagoWellingtonNew Zealand

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