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Papers And Originals

Effects of Obstruction to Respiration in Infants, with Particular Reference to Mattresses, Pillows, and their Coverings

Br Med J 1968; 3 doi: (Published 27 July 1968) Cite this as: Br Med J 1968;3:209
  1. J. L. Emery,
  2. J. A. Thornton


    A comparison was made of pillows of various designs and their effects on the flow of air through the respiratory tract of six children who had been found dead in their cots. The effects of alterations in posture and of soaking the pillow with milk were also studied.

    There was a wide variation in the obstruction to air flow in pillows of different design. A firm pillow which allows air and fluid to pass through it is best, and is probably superior to a mattress covered with a mackintosh and a sheet.

    External obstruction to respiration could be a contributory factor in some cases of cot death.