What We Treat

Children’s specializes in treating infants who have apnea and bradycardia, as well as infants whose siblings have died from sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS) or who have had an apparent life-threatening event (ALTE).

What is apnea?

Apnea is the stopping of breathing for 20 seconds or longer once or many times a day. Many premature infants, especially those born more before 32 weeks of pregnancy, have apnea. The more premature the baby is the more frequent his apnea spells can be.

There are two types of apnea. Most premature babies have both kinds.

  • Central apnea is caused by an immature brain. Many premature babies may not have developed the ability to breathe nonstop on their own. A premature baby outgrows central apnea as his brain matures.
  • Obstructive apnea is when a premature infant’s fragile airway is blocked. The blockage may be caused by mucous, or the baby may be in a position that kinks the airway. Suctioning the airway or changing the baby's position usually relieves the problem. Growth and strengthening of the tissues in the airway often solve obstructive apnea.

What is bradycardia?

Bradycardia is periods of low heart rate. Premature infants, particularly those born before 32 weeks of pregnancy, are more likely to have periods of bradycardia due to the immaturity of their lungs and the inability to maintain the oxygen levels in their blood. However, as babies mature, their natural heart rates tend to become slower anyway.

Compared to the average newborn's heart rate of 140 beats per minute (bpm), an infant is considered to have bradycardia when:

  • The heart rate is below 100 bpm in a premature infant
  • The heart rate is below 80 bpm in an infant born to term
  • The heart rate is below 60 bpm in an infant 3 months or older

The drop in heart rate is considered normal if the heart rate returns to normal by itself within five to 10 seconds.

Make an appointment

Please call 404-785-KIDS (5437) to make, cancel or reschedule an appointment.

If you are a new patient, please complete our new patient form to request an appointment.

Prepare for your appointment

What to bring

  • If you are a new patient, print out our new patient form, complete it and bring it with you
  • Driver's license
  • Insurance card
  • Your child's medicine or a list of your child's medicines with dosages
  • Questions for the doctor or nurse
  • Cash for parking (allow an extra 15 minutes to park)
  • Medical records from your other doctors or hospitals. You can ask them to fax records to 404-785-9111

Medicine

Call your pharmacy one to two weeks before your prescription runs out and ask them to fax a refill request to 404-785-9113. This will take two business days to process.

Insurance

  • It is important to let us know of any changes to your insurance. We will need your most up-to-date information to get approval for medications or procedures.
  • It is your responsibility to know what is covered by your insurance policy. We will try to get all necessary approvals from your insurance company before your child's procedure.

Services We Offer

Treatments and services offered

Treatment for apnea is designed to protect your baby until he outgrows the problem.

  • Stimulation can be used to help a baby who is not breathing. It may include rubbing the baby’s back, arms or legs, turning the baby's head to a different side or turning the baby over. This kind of stimulation is continued until the baby is clearly trying to breathe again. If the baby remains pale or bluish, oxygen may be given.
  • Medicines can stimulate the part of the brain that controls breathing and can reduce the number of apnea spells. These medicines can be given directly by I.V. or by mouth. The baby will keep getting medicine until he has outgrown the apnea.
  • Monitors that measure the heart rate and respiratory rate are used to detect when a baby needs help. If the baby stops breathing for too long or his heart rate drops too low, the monitor sounds an alarm to alert the staff. A nurse immediately checks the baby to see if he needs help.

Our team offers help with at-home monitoring of your infant’s apnea. At Children’s, we are:

  • Available: We provide 24-hour availability in downloading and reading tracings.
  • Able to quickly interpret downloads: We are equipped to receive tracing from all over the world though email. We will score and interpret the download tracings and fax or email the report to your baby’s pediatrician.
  • Equipped to directly download tracings: We can perform downloads directly from the patient's home. This requires the local home care company to provide the family with a modem compatible with Respironics monitor software. 
  • Able to provide cost-effective care: When properly used, event-recording monitors are more cost-effective than less sophisticated equipment.
  • Family focused: We offer individual consultation with families regarding the use of equipment, identification of apnea and apnea interventions.

Our Unique Approach

Why choose Children's?

Combining the latest proven technology and research with a caring, child-friendly approach, makes Children's a top choice for the treatment of apnea and bradycardia.

Learn more about what makes Children's special 


Meet the Team

Meet our pediatric specialists

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