Please be patient! It may take up to ONE minute to load all the Engines.
Problems? Please contact our support.
Breathing - slowed or stopped
Alternative namesApnea means absence of spontaneous breathing from any cause. Apnea can be intermittent and temporary, as occurs with obstructive sleep apnea , or prolonged. Prolonged apnea is also called respiratory arrest.
Prolonged apnea (respiratory arrest) is a life-threatening disorder that requires immediate medical attention and first aid.
Any episode of apnea, even a temporary one, in which a person turns blue, has a seizure, becomes limp, or remains drowsy or unconscious, requires prompt medical attention.
Apnea can occur for many different reasons. The most common causes of apnea in infants and small children are generally quite different from the most common causes in adults.
In infants and children, the most common cause of cardiac arrest (lack of an effective heartbeat) is a preceding respiratory arrest. In adults, the opposite usually occurs: cardiac arrest leads to respiratory arrest.
Common causes of apnea in infants and young children include:
Common causes of apnea in adults include:
Other causes of apnea include:
If a person has stopped breathing, emergency measures should be taken, and call for emergency help! Also see the information on CPR .
Call your health care provider if
If there is any interruption in spontaneous breathing, this is an emergency! Call 911 (or your local emergency number) and begin CPR if breathing has stopped.
CPR or other emergency measures will be provided in an emergency room or by an ambulance EMT (emergency medical technician).
Once the patient is in a stable state, the medical history will be obtained and a physical examination performed.
Medical history questions documenting absent breathing in detail may include:
A general physical examination will be performed, including listening for heart sounds and breath sounds . The heart and lungs will be monitored. Diagnostic tests will be determined by the results of history and physical examination data.
Diagnostic tests that may be performed are:
After seeing your health care provider:
Update Date: 1/29/2004Cherlin Johnson, M.D., Department of Emergency Medicine, University of Southern California, Los Angeles, CA. Review provided by VeriMed Healthcare Network.
Last updated: Tue, 06 Jan 2009 00:20:03 GMT