Apnea means specifically the cessation of breathing. Obviously this is a medical emergency and there are many causes. But the term “apnea” is often used in everyday language to refer to a condition where a person has a temporary pause in breathing. A person with temporary apnea will briefly stop ...

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Summary: Lack of breathing with no movement of the respiratory muscles and no exchange of air in the lungs. This term refers to a disposition to have recurrent episodes of apnea rather than to a single event. ...1,2

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Causes of Apnea during sleep that is temporary and recurring include:

Particular types of (temporary) apnea include:

  • Cheyne’s-Stokes ...
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Differential Diagnosis of Apnea

Involuntary breath-holding spells: Breath-holding spells in children 'Breath-holding spells' refers to two distinct conditions that can occur when a child is frightened, upset or angry, or experiences a sudden shock or pain. The child seems to stop ...3

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Causes List for Apnea

Possible causes of Apnea (or similar symptoms) may include:4

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Types of apnea include:

Particular types of breathing patterns with temporary apnea include:

  • Cheyne’s-Stokes respirations
  • Biot’s respirations
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Treatments for Apnea

Treating breath-holding spells There's no specific treatment for blue breath-holding spells, but your child should have a thorough examination to check for any underlying problems, and an ECG to check for an irregular heartbeat. Reflex anoxic seizures can ...5

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Prevention of Apnea

Preventing breath-holding spells Some parents are able to tell when their child is about to have a blue breath-holding spell or reflex anoxic seizure because they display certain behaviours. Try to distract your child if you think they ...6

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  1. [from HPO]
  2. Source: GTR (NCBI/NIH): ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/ gtr/ conditions/ C0003578/ 
  3. Source: NHS Choices UK: nhs.uk/ conditions/ Breath-holding-spells-in-children/ 
  4. Source: Algorithmically Generated List
  5. Source: NHS Choices UK: nhs.uk/ conditions/ Breath-holding-spells-in-children/ 
  6. ibid.

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Note: This site is for informational purposes only and is not medical advice. See your doctor or other qualified medical professional for all your medical needs.