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Apnea of Prematurity

What You Need to Know

Apnea is a term that means breathing has stopped for more than 20 seconds. It can happen in full-term babies, but it's more common in premature babies.

Key Symptoms

Symptoms of apnea of prematurity may include bluish color to the skin, a decrease in heart rate and low oxygen levels.


Tests used to diagnose apnea of prematurity may include blood oxygen levels, blood tests, sleep studies and other tests.


Many premature babies will “outgrow” the condition. If treatment is needed, it may include general care, CPAP and medicines.


Our team is standing by to schedule your child’s appointment.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is apnea of prematurity?

What causes apnea of prematurity?

What are the symptoms of apnea of prematurity?

How is apnea of prematurity diagnosed?

How is apnea of prematurity treated?

What are possible complications of apnea of prematurity?

How is apnea of prematurity managed?

Meet the Providers Who Treat Apnea of Prematurity

Departments that Treat Apnea of Prematurity

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Whether your infant has arrived prematurely or has a critical illness, the Children's National Hospital's top-ranked team assists in coordinating every service you and your baby need, including consultations, assessments, emergency treatments and continuing care.

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Critical Care Medicine

With the only pediatric, cardiac and neuro-intensive care units in the immediate Washington, D.C., area, Children's National Hospital is the region's leading provider of critical care medicine for seriously ill and injured infants and children.

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Infant Apnea Program

When your baby has trouble breathing or has a form of apnea, which temporarily stops normal breathing, a home monitor allows for continuous monitoring of your baby's breathing and heart.

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