Last reviewed 01/2018

When there is a specific cause of the apnoea, such as infection, then this should be treated.

In the absence of a clear aetiology there are three approaches to the treatment of apnoea:

  • general physical stimulation - this may be as simple as contact with the nurse and Mum or as complex as oscillating water beds
  • chemical stimulation - for example by intravenous administration of theophylline, caffeine or doxapram.

Failure to respond is an indication for assisted ventilation.