The device is connected to an alarm
that will go off if the infant's breathing stops, or if its heart rate
becomes too fast or too slow. This will help keep parents
alert to any potential dangers and signal them to check on the baby.
speaking, apnea monitors are most commonly subscribed for infants who
have either bradycardia
Bradycardia is when the baby’s heart
rate drops below a recommended or normal level, while an apnea is a
pause or cessation in breathing.
is a quite common problem
in premature infants, and can lead to lower
oxygen saturation levels in the blood, which in turn can cause
developmental problems and other serious consequences if it drops to
too low of a level. Still, infants are never sent home if
these two problems is of a more serious nature.
those cases, the infant will be kept in the hospital in a special
infant care unit and be treated with caffeine or other medications
which are designed to stimulate the infant’s respiratory
medical staff will also continually monitor the baby’s heart rate and
breathing until such a time when the problems have either gone away
completely or are deemed minor.
it is finally determined that the
infant can sufficiently breathe on their own, he or she is allowed to
go home, although sometimes only with an apnea monitor just to be safe.
it is determined that an infant is otherwise ready to go home, but
still shows signs of being apneic or bradycardic, then doctors usually
make the choice to order an apnea monitor from a vendor (often a home
nursing or care company), which will then be delivered to the hospital
before the baby is allowed to be discharged.
When this happens, the
home care company or vendor will give
instructions to the parents on how exactly to use the
monitor. This includes proper
placement of the electrodes or belt, as well as how to respond to alarms
and what the different types of alarms mean. Most home monitors have three separate alarms:
one for rapid heart rate, one for slowed heart rate, and one for apneas.
Some hospitals also require the parents to spend a night or even 24
hours with their baby in the hospital, so that they can
experience with using the monitor and responding to the alarms while
under the care and supervision of medical staff who can also answer any
questions the parents might have.
practice is actually quite
common with many premature births, as it also gives the parents the
ability to learn more about exactly how to take care of the child when
it finally arrives at home, including giving the infant medicine,
feeding, diaper changing, and other vital tasks.
an Apnea Baby Monitor
speaking, the monitor is to be used almost all the time, with
only a few exceptions. It is of course okay to remove the monitor when
the baby is being given a bath or when being played with. However,
anytime the baby isn’t being closely
interacted with, the monitor
should always be in place, especially because babies fall asleep so
for the length of time the monitor needs to be used, it's often hard
to for the doctors to tell exactly how long the baby will need the
monitor for. This is because the length of time is determined by how many
alarms go off.
the frequency of the alarms goes
down or stops altogether, then the doctor will decide the monitor is no
longer needed. Most babies outgrow the problems of apneas and
bradycardia within a few
Baby Monitor Usage Today
monitors used to be used quite commonly, however their use is
somewhat rare nowadays due to advances in medical technology and the
fact that hospitals now rarely discharge infants with respiratory or
heart problems. Another reason for their decreased usage is that many
studies have shown that monitors
do very little to prevent
Associated with Apnea Baby Monitors
their decrease in usage, some hospitals still determine that
the infant requires the use of an apnea baby monitor. The parents often
feel quite relieved and safe at first when using the monitor.
after having a child connected to a monitor for some time, there are a
few common complaints heard from parents about the
of the biggest problems with using these monitors is the high
frequency of false alarms. Many parents are driven up the
constant false alarms, often due to abdominal breathing. Still, doctors
recommend keeping track of every single alarm, just in case a pattern
common complaint is that the adhesive used for the electrodes
or the belt itself can be quite damaging to the baby’s delicate skin,
leaving dry skin,
rashes, and general skin irritation. With the
electrodes, this can be somewhat avoided by changing them as prescribed
and putting them in a different location each time.
many parents feel more secure having their baby hooked up to a
apnea baby monitor, they also tend to worry more about
as the monitor relies on electricity to function. If the power does go
out, then it will not be possible to monitor the baby’s heart and
your hospital will most likely provide you
with a letter that will notify officials of the fact that there is a
special needs infant in your home, which will give you priority listing
in case of any emergency.
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