Since the value of home apnea monitoring for subsequent siblings (subsibs) of an infant who died of sudden infant death syndrome is uncertain, we describe an evaluation and monitoring program for subsibs. Eighty subsibs were screened in hospital at an average age of 4.6 weeks. The most valuable investigations included history, physical examination, blood gas tests, and four days on an apnea monitor in hospital. Sleep recordings added no decision-making data. Only 23 infants met one of the following criteria for home apnea monitoring: (1) sleep apnea for more than 15 s (either on sleep recording or recognized by apnea alarm), (2) more than 4.5 episodes of apnea per hour of sleep, (3) periodic breathing greater than 24% of sleep time, or (4) severe parental anxiety. Twenty-two infants were monitored until they were aged 6 months and had spent two months apnea free. Twelve had apnea at home. All of the infants survived. Excessive periodic breathing alone did not seem to be a valid reason for home monitoring. Our screening program is simple, acceptable to families, and useful to select a smaller number of subsibs for home apnea monitoring.
American journal of diseases of children (1960) – Pubmed
Published: Jul 22, 1987
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