Infant Apnea Program

Premature infants and those with certain health problems are at a higher risk for apnea. This condition causes a temporary pause in breathing or very shallow breathing. Apnea can lead to a slow heart rate (called bradycardia) and give your baby’s skin a bluish tint.

Neonatologists at Allegheny Health Network’s (AHN) Infant Apnea Program provide specialized care for babies diagnosed with apnea who need at-home oxygen or medical equipment to monitor breathing. This program is offered at West Penn Hospital in Pittsburgh.

Infant Apnea program at AHN: Why choose us?

It can be unsettling to find out that your baby needs oxygen or a breathing monitor at home. Our specialists are here to help. At AHN’s Infant Apnea Program, your family benefits from:

  • Apnea care for all infants: We provide care for babies with apnea who are discharged from any hospital. You don’t have to deliver your baby at an AHN hospital to use our services.
  • Dedicated team: Our dedicated infant apnea nurses work one-on-one with you and your pediatrician. Other AHN team members include neonatologists (specialized infant doctors), pharmacists, and social workers.
  • Comprehensive services: We offer a complete suite of services for infants with apnea, including:
    • Treatment, such as home oxygen prescription and medication management for apnea and gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD)
    • Ongoing follow-up evaluations for babies on monitoring equipment
    • Coordination of services with medical equipment companies, health insurers, and at-home health workers, such as visiting nurses

About infant apnea

Infant apnea most commonly affects premature infants placed on respirators or mechanical breathing machines in the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU). Long-term use of a respirator and oxygen can damage lungs and cause bronchopulmonary dysplasia (BPD), a chronic lung condition that makes breathing difficult. Infants with severe GERD and seizures are also at greater risk for a