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Apnea of prematurity may have several causes, resulting in two main kinds of apnea:
Apnea of prematurity may also be caused simply because a child has an immature central nervous system, or conditions including:
Most babies who develop apnea are premature. It appears to be more common during sleep, especially during active sleep--a period when your baby has rapid eye movement (REM) while sleeping.
Apnea may be followed by bradycardia (decreased heart rate). With bradycardia, when your baby’s breathing slows, her heart rate also slows. A common term for apnea with bradycardia is "As and Bs."
While each baby may experience symptoms of apnea of prematurity differently, some of the most common include:
Signs of the more serious forms of apnea of prematurity may include:
Apnea of prematurity may be confused with another breathing pattern called periodic breathing. Periodic breathing:
Unlike periodic breathing, apnea of prematurity can be a symptom of a more serious condition.
The symptoms of apnea of prematurity may resemble other conditions or medical problems.
We are grateful to have been ranked #1 on U.S. News & World Report's list of the best children's hospitals in the nation for the third year in a row, an honor we could not have achieved without the patients and families who inspire us to do our very best for them. Thanks to you, Boston Children's is a place where we can write the greatest children's stories ever told.”