In this section
Note: This guideline is currently under review.
Definition of Terms
Types of Apnoea
Family Centered Care
Apnoea is a common occurrence in preterm infants that is often due to idiopathic apnoea of prematurity but may also be due to underlying illness or pain. In term infants, apnoea is almost always due to a pathological cause but they may rarely experience apnoea of prematurity as well. There are 3 types of apnoea (central, obstructive and mixed), all of which present differently.
The aim of this guideline is to ensure that health care providers are aware of:
The most common cause of apnoea is apnoea of prematurity; the incidence depends on the neonate's gestational age
Short episodes of apnoea are usually central whereas prolonged ones are often mixed.Periodic breathing may be mistaken for apnoea. Apnoea may be a symptom of seizure activity.
NB: It is important to note that although there are different types of Apnoeas, acute management is always the same.
Ensure all episodes are clearly documented with the intervention that was required to correct them.
Please remember to read the disclaimer
The development of this nursing guideline was coordinated by Jenna Rhodes, RN, Butterfly Ward, and approved by the Nursing Clinical Effectiveness Committee. Updated February 2019.