Preemies

If Your LO is/was on an Apnea Monitor

My DD came home on 1/30 on an apnea monitor because of her bradying due to reflux. I've found that as time goes on, I have her on it less and less. Really, right now, the only time she's on it is at night when we're sleeping. Her reflux is under control (thanks to Zantac, rice cereal, and her getting bigger) and she hasn't bradied in over a month. The only thing I deal with are false alarms and disconnect alarms. She sees the ped on 4/13 and I'm really hoping she takes her off the monitor completely then. Before I realized just how nerve wracking the thing would be, I wanted her on it as long as possible. Now I can't wait for her to be wire free!

Anyway, did/do you find yourself using the monitor less and less as time goes on? Or am I the world's worst mother?

BFP #1 3/5/11 Missed M/C 4/8/11 D&C 4/18/11
BFP #2 6/1/11 - Madison James born 12/13/11 @ 32 weeks 4 days

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Re: If Your LO is/was on an Apnea Monitor

  • Not totally the same thing, but Aiden came home on a pulse oximeter as per our request, not the doctors.  He had just come off oxygen a few days before discharge do we were more comfortable that way.  Needless to say, we lasted one night with that monitor.  The amount of false alarms was not worth it for us.  He was fine.  And being that the dr did not order it, we were comfortable d/c use immediately.
  • Yep, my DS is still on an Apnea monitor (discharged on 3/16).  We don't go back for the follow-up/reading on it until 4/18.  I'm sooo ready to ditch it; however, we do still have alarms that we don't know if they're real or not. It goes off, we get to DS's crib & he's breathing & pink, so I'm looking forward to the 18th so that we know if they're real or not. 
    But, yes, Im so over the cords, wires, bags, etc!!!!
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  • Manny was on an Apnea monitor and we kept it on most of the time, as much as we hated having to do so. We had to sign a form when he was released from the NICU saying we would keep it on or risk child negligence. Also they told us that they only way he could be ok'd to have it removed was if they had information showing no bradys etc.. Luckily he got the ok at one month so we never had to see that monitor again

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  • No, you aren't a bad mom!  I completely understand how you feel.  I wanted to throw those things out the window a number of times!  I think we only had a couple real bradies in the first week or two of being home.  Otherwise, my kids seemed to out grow their issue around their due date but we still kept them on pretty much 24/7 for about 6 weeks and then about 4 more weeks just at night when we asked to have to orders changed.

    I would check how your insurance coverage works for the apnea monitor.  The monitor company warned us that we needed to keep them on exactly as the Dr. ordered otherwise Medicaid could refuse to pay the cost and we would be responsible out of pocket.  The company providing your monitor should come out to download the info so your Dr. can make the determination about discontinuing it.  Good luck!

  • I should have clarified that her orders were never to be on it 24/7. Only when we weren't holding or actively watching her. So, mainly if we were to go into a different room (which is really rare) or at night when we're sleeping.

    The company came out to download it I guess about 2 or 3 weeks ago? I haven't heard from them or the ped, so I'm hoping she will discuss it with us at her 4 month appointment on 4/13.

    Thanks for the reassuring posts! I'm just so ready to be done with the monitor!

    BFP #1 3/5/11 Missed M/C 4/8/11 D&C 4/18/11
    BFP #2 6/1/11 - Madison James born 12/13/11 @ 32 weeks 4 days

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  • No I think you are perfectly normal.  DD came home on an apnea monitor and 1/8 liter of oxygen.  When we first had her home, it was constant.  We were always making sure that the plugs were in place and the canula didn't move.

    I think that, as mothers, we become more aware of how to read our LOs and have a good hunch that things are getting better.  We ended up with the monitor on only at night as well, but didn't really mess with the oxygen.  I just hated that the tapes on her cheeks seemed to be wearing on her skin. 

    The oxygen was prescribed for a month and the monitor for two months, but we really didn't use the monitor consistently for the last month.

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  • DS was not discharged with the monitor. It was about 3 wks after coming home he had an episode where stopped breathing so his pediatrician ordered it. He was supposed to be on it 24/7 but I only did that for about a day. I found out that the monitor was set to go off after 20 sec of not breathing and I thought that was too long for my child to not be able to breathe so I just watched him at all times. If I went to the bathroom he was in the car seat right there with me. I slept on the sofa at nights with him on my chest for about 3 wks. Eventually his pediatrician told me to let him sleep on his stomach because that position is better for reflux, but I had to keep the monitor on when he slept so I did that for about 3 nights but the false alarms were driving me crazy so that was it for the monitor. I felt way more comfortable watching him myself than depending on the monitor.
  • My DD came home on 2/4 with oxygen & monitor. At 6 weeks, her pulmo d/c'd the oxygen but said we needed the monitor for another month but only to use it while she's in the carseat, sleeping, or if we are not in the same room awake & watching her. Basically she has it off most of the day but wears it consistently at night. The monitor rep said that was fine with her. The only true alarm we've ever had was a Brady due to a horrible reflux/choking episode that I witnessed. 
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  • I'd love to take a hammer to that thing so no :) I don't think you're a bad mom. 

    We had to stay on it since DS got RSV, but I'm hoping, as of tomorrow, we can get rid of it!

    Married ~ DD 2004 ~ 2 2nd tri losses ~ DS 2011 5 weeks 1 day early ~ DD2 2012
  • image e_cruiz:

    Manny was on an Apnea monitor and we kept it on most of the time, as much as we hated having to do so. We had to sign a form when he was released from the NICU saying we would keep it on or risk child negligence. Also they told us that they only way he could be ok'd to have it removed was if they had information showing no bradys etc.. Luckily he got the ok at one month so we never had to see that monitor again

    Exactly this, but we were on it much longer - 4+ mo at home. After two months he was allowed to drop to wearing it only at night, but as much as I hated it he had to wear it. They can monitor every heatbeat so they know, and if you aren't giving them enough to read you can't prove that LO is brady-free (and really they are still  having A/B's but that's normal - however they need to know what 'normal' looks like for your LO in particular). Sorry to give you a downer of an answer - and I know how much it totally sucks - but while leaving the monitor off might not be harmful - it probably doesn't help your cause.

  • We ditched ours after about 3 weeks. Our pedi didn't think she needed it (she'd only had one apena spell in the NICU, but since it was less than 10 days prior to discharge - she was there 17 - they released her on a monitor). The pulmonolgist we were sent to didn't even LOOK at the report before saying one more month (based on her size - under 6 lbs at the time). I am 100% sure of this because the machine was downloaded 5 min before we saw him (for all of 5 minutes). The false alarms were so stressful.

    That said, she was never on breathing support (5 w early) and never really had issues in the NICU, so I may have felt differently otherwise...

  • We had an apnea monitor for 6 weeks after discharge, and kept it on her pretty much all the time. We had it alarm a few times while she was sleeping, and at the time didn't know if they were real alarms or not, so I wasn't willing to risk it. Towards the end, we would have her off of it for longer stretches, but for the most part kept it on. It was a PITA, but also peace of mind for us.

    Once we were cleared to get off of it, we were ecstatic! It was like having a brand new, wireless baby!

  • DD came home on her monitor July 28.  Until December's monthly visit she had to wear it full time, after then it was a just while sleeping or in the car thing.  She was taken off the monitor on March 6-- it was a blessing and a terror.  I did not sleep well for weeks; I am now more relaxed..  We were so used to it, it was such a peace of  mind!  Now, I can't believe how annoying it was for all thOse months, but I love my unplugged baby even more!
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  • Totally normal.  We ditched ours after about a month of no real alarms and only false alarms.  It got to be more of an annoyance than anything.  Plus our babies started moving around a lot in their cribs, and I was worried about them getting tangled in the cords.  Finally I called the doctor and told him we didn't want the monitors anymore.  They were gone as of Friday.  Best feeling ever!
    Owen and Olivia born on November 2, 2011 at 30.5 weeks Baby Birthday Ticker Ticker
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