2. Apnea is defined as the cessation of breathing for
longer than 10 to 15 seconds. While this can
happen at any age, it typically affects infants aged
two to four weeks until six months.
It is common in premature infants born around 28
weeks due to their underdeveloped respiratory
systems. It happens when the brain and spinal cord
do not mature, obstructing breathing
3. There are three main types of apnea: central, obstructive and mixed.
Central apnea is when there is no signal of breathing transmitted to the
respiratory muscles, causing the system to not respond due to
Obstructive apnea is when there is a brief pause of airflow in the
pharynx where the muscles are too weak to help the infant breathe
Mixed apnea is a combination of the two.
Types of Apnea
4. Treating Neonatal Apnea
To manage apnea in infants born before 34 weeks gestation, it is important
for professionals in the neonatal intensive care unit to monitor breathing
and development. Underlying causes will also have to be determined and
close monitoring is imperative.
Management varies between infants and will depend on a series of factors.
Medicines will be administered depending on the severity and cause of the