Table 2

Incident characteristics of sleep-related infant deaths by cause of death category

CharacteristicTotal (n=778)Unexplained* (n=276)Unintentional asphyxia (n=502)
Place of death (n, %)
 Child’s home592 (76.1)214 (77.5)378 (75.3)
 Friend or relative’s home144 (18.5)43 (15.6)101 (20.1)
 Other42 (5.4)19 (6.9)23 (4.6)
Type of area (n, %)
 Urban308 (39.6)125 (45.3)183 (36.5)
 Suburban or rural322 (41.4)98 (35.5)224 (44.6)
 Unknown148 (19.0)53 (19.2)95 (18.9)
Sleep location (n, %)
 Crib/bassinet132 (17.0)56 (20.3)76 (15.1)
 Adult bed464 (59.6)157 (56.9)307 (61.2)
 Couch/chair84 (10.8)23 (8.3)61 (12.2)
 Other93 (12.0)36 (13.0)57 (11.4)
 Unknown5 (0.6)4 (1.5)1 (0.2)
Sharing sleep surface (n, %)
 No299 (38.4)120 (43.5)179 (35.7)
 Yes468 (60.2)150 (54.4)318 (63.4)
 Unknown11 (1.4)6 (2.2)5 (1.0)
Position placed to sleep (n, %)
 On back343 (44.1)128 (46.4)215 (42.8)
 On side/stomach300 (38.6)90 (32.6)210 (41.8)
 Unknown135 (17.4)58 (21.0)77 (15.3)
Position when found (n, %)
 On back160 (20.6)66 (23.9)94 (18.7)
 On side/stomach464 (59.6)151 (54.7)313 (62.4)
 Unknown154 (19.8)59 (21.4)95 (18.9)
Airway condition (n, %)
 Unobstructed77 (9.9)34 (12.3)43 (8.6)
 Fully obstructed237 (30.5)34 (12.3)203 (40.4)
 Partially obstructed70 (9.0)33 (12.0)37 (7.4)
 Unknown372 (47.8)170 (61.6)202 (40.2)
 Missing22 (2.8)5 (1.8)17 (3.4)
Death scene investigation (n, %)
 Yes677 (87.0)227 (82.3)450 (89.6)
 No34 (4.4)14 (5.1)20 (4.0)
 Unknown43 (5.5)23 (8.3)20 (4.0)
 Missing24 (3.1)12 (4.4)12 (2.4)
Year of death (n, %)
 2014151 (19.4)61 (22.1)90 (17.9)
 2015153 (19.7)59 (21.4)94 (18.7)
 2016155 (19.9)58 (21.0)97 (19.3)
 2017175 (22.5)45 (16.3)130 (25.9)
 2018144 (18.5)53 (19.2)91 (18.1)
  • *Includes cases with undetermined, unknown, sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS) and sudden unexpected infant death (SUID) as the underlying cause documented on the death certificate.