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Apnea

(757) 668-7000

Apnea means to stop breathing. All people, even babies, take short pauses in their breathing during sleep. These short pauses are NORMAL and should not scare you.

Apnea is a medical problem when:

  • Your baby's breathing stops for more than 20 seconds.
  • Your baby's breathing stops for a shorter period of time but he/she has a pale or blue color around the mouth and nose.

Apnea is often a symptom of other medical problems. The cause needs to be found and treated. Your baby’s doctor may order a variety of tests to help find the cause of apnea.

These tests may include:

  • Blood and urine tests
  • Electrocardiogram (EKG), to make sure your baby's heart is beating right
  • Electroencephalogram (EEG), to rule out seizures
  • Upper GI, to look for reflux (when stomach contents back up into the esophagus)
  • Polysomnogram (sleep study), to check your child’s breathing and heart rate while asleep.

What can cause apnea:

  • Being born too soon
  • Low red blood cells
  • Seizures
  • Heart problems
  • Gastroesophageal Reflux
  • Severe Infections

Managing your child's apnea:

Your baby’s doctor and nurse will review treatment plans and medications with you before your baby goes home.

(757) 668-7000