When Oxford Physician Alice Stewart . . .
Began investigating the alarming rise of childhood cancer in the 1950s, she had a bold idea: She would ask the mothers. Though today such an approach would be laughed at as “anecdotal” and “circumstantial,” Dr. Stewart believed mothers are tuned into details that doctors might overlook.
Only 35 questionnaires in, the pattern was clear.
Too many boiled sweets? No. General risks associated with poverty? No – in fact the children that were dying came mostly from wealthy families. Fish and chips? No. Only one thing stood out, and it was that most of the cancer victims had undergone “a single diagnostic [prenatal] X-ray, well within the exposure considered safe, [which] was enough almost to double the risk of early cancer.” (source)
Dr. Stewart was awarded the Nobel Prize for Medicine the following year, by five years time childhood cancer incidence was down by half, and everyone lived happily ever after. Or not.
“Enthusiasm for nuclear technology was at a high point in the 1950s, and radiography was being used for everything from treating acne and menstrual disorders to ascertaining shoe fit. X-rays, as Stewart put it, ‘were the favourite toy of the medical profession,’” and they were not going to give it up without a fight (source).
According to Margaret Heffernan, “The data was out there, it was open, it was freely available, but nobody wanted to know. A child a week was dying, but nothing changed . . . Alice Stewart had a very big fight on her hands.”
And fight she did. Through being blackballed from funding opportunities because of her stance, through a a 14-year battle with the U.S. Department of Energy, which cut off her access to its records when her research found results they didn’t like, and through ridicule from her peers she fought. (source)
Twenty-five years later the medical community finally acknowledged her research and abandoned the practice of using x-rays on pregnant women.
Wait, Isn’t This A Post About Vaccines and SIDS?
Yes, yes it is. Before we jump in, though, I felt it was important to tell Dr. Stewart’s story to remind us that sometimes things are true even when the medical community can’t or won’t see it. Is that the case with vaccines and SIDS? Well, to unravel that question I believe we need another story.
In 1985 Viera Scheibner, a principal research scientist in Australia, and her husband Leif Karlsson, an electronics engineer specializing in patient monitoring systems, developed a breathing monitor for babies thought to be at risk from Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS). The monitor, which was called Cotwatch, is considered by many to be the “smoking gun” between vaccination and SIDS. In describing one of her case histories, Dr. Scheibner says:
This baby was put on our monitor before he was vaccinated, and for more than three weeks, there were hardly any alarms at all. Then suddenly, the mother recorded a whole series of alarms. We thought there was a defect in the monitor, and I sent a different unit, but the alarms continued. After one night when they had six alarms in 24 hours their pediatrician advised them to stop monitoring. But if you have alarms on certain days and no alarms on other days, it is not the equipment malfunctioning; there is good reason for alarms like that.
I transferred the baby’s forms onto a graph, but did not understand it at the time.
Scheibner and Karlsson continued collecting data and began compiling it into charts – and then it hit them. Of that first case study, Schibner says “Five years later, I telephoned the mother and asked her when the child was vaccinated. The first injection was given one day before these alarms started.” As they looked more closely at data collected from other babies they noticed clusters of stress induced breathing patterns following vaccination.
There are individual differences, and some children react more than others, but the pattern of flare-ups of stressed breathing follow the same pattern of critical days. The graphs show a number of days where there is no stress level in breathing; then comes day zero when the vaccine was administered. We see the effect of the vaccine within one hour, and the child’s stress level begins to go up and down. In all cases there was a 48 hour reaction after vaccination with a flare-up.
Then the stress level went down through the following days until around days five to seven when they had an increased stress level. One child had a reaction on day 7; one on day 5 and 6, so there are individual differences, but the general pattern of these reactions is the same. The stress level again went down; then there was another flare-up at day 16.
Of course, we continued to record the babies’ breathing after the sixteenth day. The stress level went down, and there was only a slight increase in the stress level towards the 24th day. These are the critical days. Even the onset of reactions like convulsions occur on these critical days. Even babies whose mothers recorded no fever or crying, had slightly increased stress level, on the same critical days as those babies who had stronger reactions. Two out of ten randomly picked babies had to be admitted to the hospital with serious breathing problems on these critical days.
Critics of the current vaccine program often point out the peak age for SIDS-related deaths (2-4 months) coincides exactly with the introduction of vaccines if the recommended schedule is followed. What we see here is that not only does there seem to be a direct correlation between vaccination and shallow breathing/apnea, the discovery of cycles of distress may explain something many experts say disproves the theory that vaccines cause SIDS. According to Scheibner’s data, days 46-47 often showed critical flare ups in babies. This is FAR beyond the typical scope for which researchers track reactions to vaccines, but it indicates that children’s immune systems can go through indefinite cycles of fighting/resting as they try to process the vaccine – this may explain why some SIDS babies don’t succumb until months after vaccination.
But wait, you may be saying. These kids may have had shallow breathing or apnea following vaccination, but they didn’t die of SIDS. While that’s true, I believe some would have if their parents hadn’t been alerted to the situation via the Cotwatch monitor and intervened. There are certainly far too many stories of children that have, like these three babies that died within days of their 4 month vaccination. You can find more on the mama who is suing via the Vaccine Injury Compensation Program for her son Vance’s death here.
As I wrote about earlier this week there’s certainly a lot of evidence indicating that’s the case, but I don’t think it’s an either/or thing. In fact, the two factors may be working synergistically to induce SIDS. Children often run fevers after vaccination, and a modest increase in body temperature could speed up the production of toxic gases by up to 10 times. (Source)
“Vaccines are known to cause fevers in babies (CDC 2001). These fevers can increase generation of the gases, exposing babies to higher concentrations. In addition, vaccines can lead to the depletion of vitamin C in a baby’s body (Hattersley 1993 and Pauling 1981), and damage the developing nervous and immune systems. Vaccines have also been shown to cause stressed breathing (Scheibner 1993), weakened immunity, and neurological damage (Neustaedter 1996), which can lower the baby’s ability to tolerate a given concentration of toxic gases.”
Could toxic gases be the cause in one case, vaccination in another, and both in other cases? I believe so. Though I have not been able to confirm them I have heard of children having fatal vaccine reactions on “safe” mattresses, and on the other the vaccine theory alone does not explain why the risk of SIDS nearly doubles with the birth of each child (the explanation that parents are likely to re-use the same mattress, allowing the fungus to become more established with the addition of each new little one seems to though)
SIDS is a rather elastic term that can have so many different root causes. However, I think the vaccines and toxic mattresses may account for the vast majority of cases. Here’s why:
According to Harris L.Coulter, PhD, “‘Crib death’ was so infrequent in the pre-vaccination era that it was not even mentioned in the statistics, but it started to climb in the 1950s with the spread of mass vaccination against diseases of childhood.” Guess what else came out in the 1950s? Yep, PVC mattresses containing arsenic, antimony and phosphorous!
Vaccine Deaths Intentionally Misclassified As SIDS
According to the Miller/Goldman study, SIDS deaths have increased in a linear fashion with the number of vaccines administered. At 12 vaccines the number of total infant deaths was around 3 per 1000 children. Double the number of vaccines and you almost double the death rate (see this graph for details). These researchers challenge the idea that the SIDS rate dropped in the 1990′s, claiming instead that the dip was due to infant deaths being re-classified as other Sudden Unexpected Infant Deaths and later Shaken Baby Syndrome (which is thought to be vaccine-induce encephalitis).
“As Dawn Winkler, former Vice President of Concerned Parents for Vaccine Safety, points out, ‘The National Vaccine Injury Compensation Program has even compensated 93 families whose infants’ deaths were labeled SIDS because the parent had the evidence in the autopsy to prove the vaccine caused it. Yet, the cause of death listing as ‘SIDS’ was never changed on the death certificates of these 93 babies.’” (Source)
So, What Have We Not Covered Here?
A lot, I suppose! There are so many other cans of worms when it comes to vaccines: autism, asthma, herd immunity. I’m no expert, but I hope the information I’ve presented here will be helpful jumping off point as you do your own research. As the debate on vaccines rages on, I trust that you have the common sense to see beyond the conflicting studies and name calling and decide for yourself. IF YOU HAVE QUESTIONS or would like to be directed to further research, please leave them in the comments below for a follow-up Q&A next week. In the meantime, here are a few thoughts from folks who ARE experts!
My suspicion, which is shared by others in my profession, is that the nearly 10,000 SIDS deaths that occur in the United States each year are related to one or more of the vaccines that are routinely given children. The pertussis vaccine is the most likely villain, but it could also be one or more of the others.”
~ Dr. Robert Mendelsohn, MD, Author of How To Raise A Healthy Child In Spite Of Your Doctor, Professor of Pediatrics, Community Health and Preventative Medicine, University of Illinios, College of Medicine
A study undertaken at the University of California, Los Angeles, under the sponsorship of the Food and Drug Administration, and which has been confirmed by other studies, links DPT (diphtheria, pertussis, tetanus) vaccination, and more specifically the pertussis component, to sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS). This study found that 53 of 145 SIDS victims whose families were interviewed had received a DPT vaccination within 4 weeks. The authors conclude that “the excess of deaths in the 24 hours and first week following immunization and the absence of deaths in the fourth week following immunizations were significant.” They call for more studies to substantiate their findings, despite the fact that this is already the third investigation, and all 3 have pointed in the same direction.
~ Pediatric Infectious Disease Journal, 1983. Possible temporal association between diphtheria – tetanus toxoid – pertussis vaccination and sudden infantdeath syndrome. Baraff, L.J., Ablon, W.J., Weiss, R.C. (Source 1, Source 2)
These data show that DPT vaccination may be a generally unrecognised major cause of sudden infant and early childhood death, and that the risks of immunisation may outweigh its potential benefits. A need for re-evaluation and possible modification of current vaccination procedures is indicated by this study.”
~ William C. Torch, M.D., Director of Child Neurology, Department of Paediatrics, University of Nevada School of Medicine (Source: SIDS and Seizures by Harris L. Coulter, PhD)
Disclaimer This information is purely for educational purposes and is NOT meant to be SIDS prevention advice. It is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease. Mommypotamus does NOT make ANY claims that using a non-toxic mattress or avoiding vaccines will prevent SIDS since this has not been 100% scientifically proven, and there can be other factors involved in SIDS. None of the information or options presented here are considered to be SIDS prevention advice or medical advice.