Some Abnormal Breathing May be Normal in Infants

What’s more serene than watching and caring for your precious newborn… so sweet littlebittywilland idyllic… right up to the time he or she scares the “bejeebers” out of you by turning blue, or breathing funny, or not seeming to respond to you, but then a few seconds later is completely normal, again. Well, scary and heart stopping (yours, that is) as it may seem, this newborn behavior may be normal, according to a clinical practice guideline from the American Academy of Pediatrics, entitled, “Brief Resolved Unexplained Events and Evaluation of Lower-Risk Infants”, and published in the journal, Pediatrics.

Now, if your baby does anything like turn blue or quit breathing, or act strange, go to the ER or at least call your doctor right away.  But when you get there, don’t be surprised if after examination and any warranted tests, you are told that this may be a normal “baby thing” called a BRUE, or Brief Resolved Unexplained Event. Yes, research points to this happening more often than thought in the past, with no known long term problems.  This guideline ONLY suggests BRUEs be considered with babies who are normally growing and haven’t had health problems.

So, for a diagnosis of a BRUE to be considered, the baby has to be over 2 months of age, never had any other episodes, the BRUE lasted less than a minute, no CPR was needed, the baby is entirely normal as can be told physically and mentally.  Some rules for premature infants were also sited.  So, this guideline does not change your immediate reaction; you will take the baby in immediately if he or she turns blue, has funny breathing or isn’t responding.  What has changed is that we now know there are some of these babies that have this happen, and we don’t know why, but it may be a normal part of “babyhood”. So, give that kid a hug, and call if concerns about a BRUE.

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