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Infant Apnea

Medically reviewed by Last updated on May 1, 2023.

Infant apnea is an episode when your baby stops breathing for more than 20 seconds for no obvious reason. Your baby may begin breathing again with certain measures or on his or her own. Infant apnea is also called a brief resolved unexplained event (BRUE). A BRUE is an episode that frightens the person who sees it.


Informed consent

is a legal document that explains the tests, treatments, or procedures that your child may need. Informed consent means you understand what will be done and can make decisions about what you want. You give your permission when you sign the consent form. You can have someone sign this form for you if you are not able to sign it. You have the right to understand your child's medical care in words you know. Before you sign the consent form, understand the risks and benefits of what will be done to your child. Make sure all of your questions are answered.


Your baby may need extra oxygen if his or her blood oxygen level is lower than it should be. He or she may get oxygen through a mask placed over his or her nose and mouth or through small tubes placed in his or her nostrils. Ask your baby's healthcare provider before you take off the mask or oxygen tubing.


Your baby's heart rate and breathing will be continually monitored. He or she may need to go home with a monitor.


Your baby may need any of the following tests:

  • Blood tests are used to check for infection, anemia, or low blood sugar.
  • A chest x-ray is used to check for an infection or heart disease.
  • An EKG may show an abnormal heart rate or other heart problems.
  • An EEG may show seizure activity.
  • Sleep studies may show problems with your baby's sleep patterns.
  • A barium swallow is used to check for gastric reflux.


Your baby may have an increased risk for developmental delays. If your baby has 1 episode, his or her risk increases for another episode.


You have the right to help plan your baby's care. Learn about your baby's health condition and how it may be treated. Discuss treatment options with your baby's healthcare providers to decide what care you want for your baby.

© Copyright Merative 2023 Information is for End User's use only and may not be sold, redistributed or otherwise used for commercial purposes.

The above information is an educational aid only. It is not intended as medical advice for individual conditions or treatments. Talk to your doctor, nurse or pharmacist before following any medical regimen to see if it is safe and effective for you.

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Always consult your healthcare provider to ensure the information displayed on this page applies to your personal circumstances.