Objective: To determine the incidence, type, timing, and factors predictive of recurrent significant events in infants with home cardiorespiratory monitors.
Study design: We reviewed data accumulated for 147 patients with an event-recorder type of monitor. The infants were allocated to one of four diagnostic categories: apparent life-threatening events (ALTE, n = 73), former premature infants with persistent apnea and bradycardia (n = 29), siblings of victims of sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS) (n = 24), and parental anxiety after a nonsignificant event (n = 21).
Results: Compliance with monitoring was excellent; the monitors were used on 94% of the prescribed days. Fifty-three (36%) of 147 infants had significant events; of those, 46 (87%) experienced their first event during the first month of monitoring, and 69% of the events occurred during that first month. The most prevalent event type was a bradycardic event. Among infants in the ALTE group, events during the initial investigation period predicted the likelihood of events at home; 2 of the 47 infants (4%) with negative results for an investigation and no events recorded in hospital had apnea, and 4 had a bradycardic event (9%). In contrast, when significant events were recorded in hospital, the events were likely to recur at home (69% and 35% of the infants had apnea or bradycardia, respectively; p < 0.001).
Conclusion: Because most apnea, bradycardia, and recurrent clinical events began during the first month of monitoring, we emphasize the need for vigilant follow-up care of infants immediately after institution of home monitoring. Readmission for investigation is warranted in infants with severe or multiple recurrent events.