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Pediatr Clin North Am. 2005 Aug;52(4):1127-46, ix.

Apparent life-threatening event: a review.

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Department of Pediatrics, Pediatric Hospitalist Division, Children's National Medical Center, George Washington University School of Medicine and Health Sciences, 111 Michigan Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20010, USA.


An "apparent life-threatening event" (ALTE) refers to an episode that is of concern to the caregiver and is associated with a combination of apnea, color change, change in tone, choking, or gagging. Although the natural history of ALTE is most often benign, there is a risk for subsequent morbidity and mortality. The provider must stabilize the infant as needed, obtain key history, identify and address any underlying causes, educate the caregivers, and provide a safe disposition. This article summarizes the body of literature concerning ALTE, with specific attention to the diagnosis and management of these cases.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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