Study offers apnea info
When their breathing matches their heartbeat, babies suffering from apnea brought on by prematurity can be released from the neonatal intensive care unit, according to a study published last Monday.
Apnea of prematurity is a condition in which premature babies' nervous systems are not developed enough for them to unconsciously regulate their breathing patterns.
Researchers from the University Medical School and the College of William & Mary found a high correlation between breathing and heartbeat indicates breathing patterns have become more normal and the baby has developed a more robust nervous system.
The University and William & Mary study, published in the Journal of Applied Physiology, explored a new way to measure infants' breathing patterns and heartbeats during an extended period of time. Researchers used software programs and algorithms to review patterns every four minutes.
Premature babies suffering from apnea may remain in the hospital for months to allow doctors to monitor their breathing, but the researchers' findings could be used to accurately suggest the earliest time infants are able to go home.
-compiled by Michelle Lim