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Neonatal Apnea


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Dr. Allen Cherer gives a closer look at neonatal apnea.

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Neonatal Apnea

  1. 1. Diagnosing and Addressing Neonatal Apnea Dr. Allen Cherer |
  2. 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. 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 immature development. 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 properly. Mixed apnea is a combination of the two. Types of Apnea
  4. 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 issue.