Undetected apnea and bradycardia in infants

Pediatr Pulmonol. 1991;11(3):195-7. doi: 10.1002/ppul.1950110302.


Despite routine monitoring, a number of prolonged apneic and bradycardic episodes were undetected in a group of infants in the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU). Sixty-one infants were evaluated by 12-hour pneumocardiograms at a post-conceptional age of 35 +/- 3 (SD) weeks. Nursing documentation failed to detect 11 infants with prolonged apnea and bradycardia. Three of these infants were not detected in spite of increased awareness following in-service education. Such a lack of documentation may lead to improper medical management of infants at risk for pathologic apnea and suggests the need for more accurate documentation at the time of discharge.

MeSH terms

  • Apnea / diagnosis*
  • Apnea / epidemiology
  • Bradycardia / diagnosis*
  • Bradycardia / epidemiology
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Incidence
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Infant, Premature, Diseases / diagnosis*
  • Infant, Premature, Diseases / epidemiology
  • Intensive Care Units, Neonatal
  • Male
  • Monitoring, Physiologic / methods
  • Risk Factors
  • Sudden Infant Death / epidemiology