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Neonatal apnoea

Last reviewed dd mmm yyyy. Last edited dd mmm yyyy

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Neonatal apnoeas are episodes when an infant fails to make any respiratory effort.

They are defined thus:

  • no respiratory efforts for a period of more than 20 sec
  • a break in respiration of less than 20 sec but associated with bradycardia - a reduction in heart rate of more than 30%

The frequency of apnoeic episodes is closely related to the degree of prematurity.

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