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J Paediatr Child Health. 1997 Apr;33(2):171-3.

V-shaped pillows and unsafe infant sleeping.

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Department of Paediatrics, University of Adelaide, Australia.



To investigate the possibility that adult size V-shaped pillows may be associated with accidental asphyxial deaths in infants.


Review was undertaken of all cases of sudden infant death presenting to the Women's and Children's Hospital in Adelaide involving infants who had been found on adult size V-shaped pillows.


Four cases of sudden infant death were found in which infants were found sleeping on V-shaped pillows. All of the deaths had occurred in 1995. In two of the cases the pillows were considered to be implicated in the cause of death as the potential for obstruction of the infants' airways could be demonstrated on death scene reconstruction.


Adult size V-shaped pillows may be unsafe for use in small infants who may accidentally suffocate if trapped between the two arms, or under, the pillow. The use of such pillows to maintain the body position of sleeping infants should be discouraged.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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