Apnea of Prematurity

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Age = Infant
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Apnea of Prematurity


An episode of apnea of prematurity is defined as a pause in the breathing of a prematurely newborn child lasting in excess of twenty seconds.

It occurs in premature infants as the respiratory centre of the brain is still underdeveloped. As the child approaches term, the respiratory centre continues to develop and the episodes decrease in frequency, before ceasing entirely.

Apnea of prematurity occurs in approximately 80 per cent of infants born prior to 34 weeks’ gestation. The likelihood of incidence is related inversely to the gestational maturity of the child.

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