Apparent life-threatening prolonged infant apnea in Saskatchewan

West J Med. 1989 Mar;150(3):293-5.


Life-threatening events such as prolonged apnea and severe bradycardia are uncommon in infants. When such events occur in a family, however, the results may be disastrous. Over a period of 3 years ending June 1986, we have looked after 111 such infants aged 4 weeks to 40 weeks with a mean age of 14 weeks (male-female ratio 1.26:1). Of these infants, 33 had an identifiable cause and were treated according to the diagnoses. A structural approach to this problem yielded good results. Only 10 infants were treated with a home monitor (4 prescribed by physician and 6 by parental request). Sleep and pneumogram (polysomnogram) studies showed fewer apneic episodes with advancing age (P less than .01). Giving theophylline seemed to abolish pneumogram abnormalities. No infants died.

MeSH terms

  • Apnea / therapy*
  • Emergencies
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Male
  • Saskatchewan
  • Time Factors