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J Pediatr. 1984 Jun;104(6):932-5.

Apnea and bradycardia during feeding in infants weighing greater than 2000 gm.


One full-term and nine premature infants who had been or were about to be discharged from the hospital were studied to identify any breathing problems. While awake and when sucking and swallowing, the infants had central apnea accompanied by significant bradycardia and significant drops in transcutaneous oxygen values. These events occurred whether infants were breast-fed or ingested human milk, formula, or water by bottle, and were not associated with falls in esophageal pH. While awake, after occlusion of both nostrils, the infants responded with mouth breathing. Sleep-related apneic episodes were also found but were less significant. The long apneic events were related to poorly coordinated sucking and breathing while awake.

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