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Infant Apnea Program

Caring for Children with Infant Sleep Apnea

Sleep disorders occur in more than 2 million children, and sleep apnea has been linked to many other problems such as SIDS, ADD, ADHA, autism, and obesity. Under the direction of Dr. Akhtar Niazi, our Infant and Children Apnea Monitor Program helps evaluate and care for children who are at risk for sleep apnea or other sleep-related issues. We work with infants from birth to one year of age who are inpatients in the NICU or Pediatrics Unit. (If a child is not an inpatient, we may admit them to the Pediatrics Unit and order a sleep study.)

Is your child experiencing any of the following symptoms?

  • Snoring with pauses
  • Labored breathing while sleeping
  • Gasping or choking
  • Disrupted sleep
  • Unusual sleeping positions

OR does your child have a history of any of the following?

  • Apnea (no breathing)
  • Bradycardia (decreased heart rate)
  • Desaturation (decreased oxygen in the blood)
  • Dusky (infant turns bluish in color due to decreased oxygen)
  • Apparent Life-Threatening Event (ALTE)

If so, he or she may qualify for a pneumocardiogram study (a 4-channel, 5-channel, or sleep study).

Sleep studies

During the 12-hour sleep study, we monitor the child’s heart rate, respiration, and oxygen saturation (we can also monitor esophageal pH to evaluate for reflux). The study is then scored and interpreted by staff and Dr. Niazi, and a recommendation is made to the ordering physician regarding the need for a cardiorespiratory memory monitor at the child’s home.

Should your child require a monitor at home, our staff will help educate you on everything you need to know to care for him or her while on the monitor. Infant CPR training is also provided to parents and any additional caregivers.

Home support

Families going home with a monitor receive daily follow-up phone calls during the first week at home. After that point, weekly calls are made to answer any questions and address any concerns or supply needs. Staff is available 24/7 for emergency questions, and the child’s primary care physician receives periodic updates.

Home monitor information

Information recorded by the monitor is downloaded every 4 – 6 weeks. The information is then evaluated for the number and severity of events and a decision is made about the continued need for the monitor.

Repeat car seat testing

It is recommended that any infant who is discharged home in a car bed should have a repeat car seat test. This testing should be completed prior to switching the infant to an infant car seat. We perform a 90-minute angle tolerance test at the hospital to determine if the infant can tolerate the position of the car seat.

Program Staff

Akhtar Niazi, MD, FAAP
Medical Director

Lyn Makovicka RNC
Infant Apnea Monitor Program Coordinator

Ladonna Tool RNC
Supplemental Staff and NICU Nurse

Amy Hansen RN
Supplemental Staff and NICU Nurse

Donna DiPaolo LRCP
Durable Medical Equipment Program Coordinator

Staff is available to answer questions 24/7. If you would like to speak with a staff member, please call 402-219-7190.