Apnea Prematurity – Causes, Symptoms, And Treatment Every parent wishes for a healthy and safe pregnancy, but unfortunately, sometimes there are complications that can sabotage your expectation. When a child is born prematurely i.e.
premature, he has to face many problems and it is necessary for the parents to be prepared first of all because the amount of time the child should have spent in the womb was the necessary time.
He was not completed and therefore his development is not fully done, because at the time he was born, his development was happening during that time.
Apnea of prematurity is also a problem that many premature babies face and here we have given you such information related to it, which can be very useful for you.
In this article that made me perfect, we will give you full information about Apnea Of Prematurity – Causes, Symptoms, And Treatment.
What is Apnea of Prematurity?
After birth, the baby must breathe continuously, but premature babies do not get enough time to develop their central nervous system necessary to breathe continuously without any problems, and in such a case it is not possible for them it happens.
When a premature baby holds his breath for more than fifteen to twenty seconds or even less, but his oxygen level is low or the heartbeat is slow, it means that he is in prematurity.
There is apnea. It usually gets better on its own in a few weeks and in most cases, once it heals, it doesn’t happen again.
What are the causes of prematurity apnea?
Although the main reason for having apnea can be due to the not fully maturing central nervous system, the baby can have breathing problems due to other reasons as well.
Central apnea is caused by interference with the brain’s breathing control center and obstructive apnea that blocks the airways. Apnea can occur even if there is a problem with other organs.
Here we will discuss the various reasons that cause apnea of prematurity:
- respiratory diseases
- tissue damage or bleeding in the brain
- either too high or too low of glucose, calcium, or other chemical levels in the body
- Reflux, a gastrointestinal problem where food in the stomach backs up through the food pipe
- blood vessel or heart problems
- Feeding tubes, sucking or when the baby’s neck is bent too much can trigger certain reflexes that trigger apnea
- a neurologic system that has not yet matured
- fluctuating temperature
Symptoms of apnea of prematurity
Although different symptoms can be seen in every child, here you are told about some of the common symptoms as follows:
- Shortness of breath can start in the first week after birth or sometime after.
- When your baby is not breathing for about twenty seconds or more.
- Your baby may turn blue due to a lack of oxygen.
- Bradycardia, where the baby’s heart rate begins to drop rapidly.
Diagnosis of apnea of prematurity
First of all, you need to know why the baby is having trouble breathing. Another such condition in which the baby has difficulty in breathing which can occur in both premature babies and premature babies is called periodic breathing.
There is a pattern of breathing in this, there is a short pause which is done in the process of rapid breathing. While periodic breathing is considered a common type of breathing seen in babies, prematurity apnea is a more serious problem that will need to be seen by a doctor.
The doctor will examine the body system of the child so that it can be known what are the causes of apnea. Some of the things involved in the diagnostic process are:
- physical examination of the child
- A blood test will be done to find out what your child’s blood count and electrolyte levels are. Along with this, the doctor will get information if there is an existing infection.
- The doctor will check for swelling in the child’s nose to rule out other types of infection.
- The oxygen level in the baby’s blood will be checked
- He will examine his lungs, gastrointestinal system, heart, the doctor may ask to do an X-ray of the child.
- The baby’s breathing, heart rate, the oxygen level will be monitored to study for apnea.
How to prematurity treated?
The treatment of prematurity apnea will be determined based on your baby’s gestational age, medical history, overall health, condition, and tolerance to certain types of medications, therapy, and procedures. Most children with apnea of prematurity are treated by:
- Premature babies are referred to a hospital’s Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU), where they are properly cared for, as the baby’s lungs are not developed enough to breathe on their own, so much more care is required.
- Apnea usually occurs once a day, but it can also happen several times, so medical staff needs to pay close attention to the symptoms and the doctor will also check if they have apnea due to infection.
- Oral or IV medications are given to encourage the baby to breathe. Giving a small amount of caffeine also helps the baby to breathe normally.
- Children are placed on cardiorespiratory monitors, also known as A/B monitors (apnea and bradycardia), to monitor their heart rate. If your baby stops breathing for a few seconds, the alarm will sound and a nurse will arrive immediately to check on the baby.
- Most babies get agitated after rubbing their back, arms, and legs and start breathing, but for those who do not react and turn pale or their skin looks blue, using an oxygen mask is required to do. Often, the baby just needs to be pumped a few times to breathe.
- Some children need constant airway pressure and are placed on machines that continuously deliver oxygen to their airways to keep their small air passages open in the lungs and help with breathing.
What to do if your child is on a home monitor
Apnea ends when the child is ready to be discharged from the hospital, however, some may have intermittent apnea. In such a case, your doctor will decide whether the child needs to be monitored for home apnea.
The home apnea monitor will have two main parts. There will be a belt that holds sensory wires and is placed around your baby’s chest. This will monitor your baby’s chest movement and breathing rate. The second monitoring unit will have an alarm. This unit will continuously record the rates given by the sensors.
Before your baby is discharged, the NICU medical team will accompany you on the functioning of the unit and give you instructions on how to use it.
They’ll also teach you how to respond to alarms and do CPR and you’ll be trained, although rarely really needed. Talk to the doctor about any doubts you have so that you can handle the situation at home.
If your child develops apnea at home, you will need to follow the staff’s instructions and rub your child’s back, arms or legs to help them breathe.
If none of the methods are working and you notice that your baby’s skin is turning blue, you should start CPR immediately and call the emergency number.
Remember that no matter how difficult the situation is, you should never shake your baby too hard to keep him awake!