infant mortality

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infant mortality

It is common lore among hackers (and in the electronics industry at large) that the chances of sudden hardware failure drop off exponentially with a machine's time since first use (that is, until the relatively distant time at which enough mechanical wear in I/O devices and thermal-cycling stress in components has accumulated for the machine to start going senile). Up to half of all chip and wire failures happen within a new system's first few weeks; such failures are often referred to as "infant mortality" problems (or, occasionally, as "sudden infant death syndrome").

See bathtub curve, burn-in period.

Infant Mortality


the rate of death of live-borns during the first year of life. Infant mortality, with the birthrate and mortality, is a statistical index of natural population dynamics; it is expressed by the number of deceased infants per 100 or per 1,000 live-births. In the USSR a live-born is defined as an infant who has taken at least one breath. Infant mortality is basically a function of socioeconomic causes and shifts in one direction or another when these change. Thanks to measures of the system of maternity and childhood protection and to the system of antenatal protection of the fetus created by Soviet physicians, infant mortality in the USSR has sharply decreased (see Table 1).

According to UN data, infant mortality in the socialist countries in 1969 (per 1,000 births) was as follows: Bulgaria,

Table 1. Infant mortality in Russia and the USSR
Deceased infants per 1,000 births269182813525

30.5; Hungary, 33.6; German Democratic Republic, 20.4; Poland, 34.3; Rumania, 54.9; and Czechoslovakia, 22.9. In contrast to the USSR, in certain capitalist countries infants who die before their births are recorded are considered to be stillborn; therefore, the indexes of infant morality in those countries do not correspond to reality and give lower figures.