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Robert’s Program on Sudden Unexpected Death in Pediatrics (SUDP) is a clinical service offered to families who have lost a child suddenly and unexpectedly, without apparent cause. Our efforts help a family understand the reasons for their child’s death, while supporting them through a very difficult time. Our interdisciplinary team uses the most current medical knowledge and methods to find answers for bereaved families while being leaders in research and discovery.

Our program focuses on sudden unexpected death in pediatrics (SUDP), which encompasses sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS) and sudden unexpected death in childhood (SUDC).

Our far-reaching program involves clinicians and scientists from the fields of:

  • general pediatrics
  • neurology
  • genetics
  • cardiology
  • metabolism
  • endocrinology
  • neuropathology
  • pediatric and forensic pathology
  • palliative care
  • bereavement support
  • psychology

We work collaboratively with:

  • The Massachusetts Center for Unexpected Infant and Child Death (SIDS)
  • medical examiners and coroners, including the Massachusetts Office of the Chief Medical Examiner (OCME)
  • local pediatricians
  • obstetricians, for subsequent pregnancies

Robert's Program mission

Robert’s Program uses translational science to shed light and counsel families in the aftermath of sudden unexplained deaths in their young children.

Clinical mission

To provide comprehensive clinical care to families that have suffered the sudden and unexpected death of a child , including:

  • evaluating SUDP as an undiagnosed disease with an independent, cutting edge approach
  • contributing expertise and resources to the medical examiner’s investigation of your child
  • providing risk assessment and genetic counseling for the family, including other children
  • bereavement support throughout the process

Our efforts are devoted especially to children under the age of 3 who have died due to natural causes

Research mission

We perform state-of-the-art research into sudden unexpected death in pediatrics to understand fatal underlying vulnerabilities in children and prevent them. Our research extends to:

  • sudden infant death syndrome
  • sudden unexplained death in childhood
  • sudden unexpected infant death (SUID)
  • sudden unexplained death in epilepsy (SUDEP)
  • “unexplained” sudden cardiac death in the young (SCDY)

For more information, please visit our frequently asked questions page.

In the news

What Causes SIDS?
New York Times

Their baby died during his nap. Then medical bureaucrats deepened the parents’ anguish

Prolonged grief of bereaved parents: How pediatricians can help

Surviving the Death of My Son After the Death of My Faith
New York Times

Having a Child After Losing a Child
New York Times

Contact us

Boston Children’s Hospital
300 Longwood Avenue
Boston, MA 02115

Phone: 617-919-4513
Fax: 617-730-0957