Screening Sleep Apnea with Pulse Oximeters
Sleep apnea is a silent condition that affects millions of Americans. If you are constantly tired, have difficulty concentrating on your job or can’t stay awake you might be suffering from sleep apnea. You can find out if you have sleep apnea by using an overnight pulse oximeter recorder at home. These devices allow you to record your pulse and oxygen levels for up to 24 hours. The recorded data is illustrated in a graph that can show a sleep apnea pattern.
What is Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS)
Latest research findings from different studies tend to indicate a common denominator as the cause for sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS). That common factor is low blood oxygen level and a diminish capability of some babies to wake up after experiencing low blood oxygen levels. SIDS or the sudden death of a child under age one in which the cause cannot be determined is the number one cause of fatalities for infants between one month and one year of age. Its primary causes have not been determined even though there are many theories and studies. Recently many researchers believe that SIDS is due to multiple factors not always related and medical conditions that have as a common denominator a low blood oxygen level and a diminish capability of some babies to wake up after experiencing low blood oxygen levels due to several factors that include hypoxia, sleeping in areas with low ventilation or high concentration of carbon dioxide. In a new research reported on April 2014, by Professor Roger Byard AO, Marks Professor of Pathology at the University of Adelaide and Senior Specialist Forensic Pathologist with Forensic Science South Australia discovered the presence of a staining of the brain caused by a protein called β-amyloid precursor protein (APP). This protein is present in babies that had died from asphyxia and babies that had presumably died from SIDS On another study researchers at Boston Children’s Hospital have found many babies that die “suddenly and unexpectedly” have “underlying brainstem abnormalities and are not all normal prior to death.” The hospital published its findings in the December issue of Pediatrics. “These abnormalities impair brainstem circuits that help control breathing, heart rate, blood pressure and temperature control during sleep,” the hospital wrote in a press release on the finding of neuropathologist Dr. Hannah Kinney and her team. “The researchers believe [the abnormalities] prevent sleeping babies from rousing when they re-breathe too much carbon dioxide (due to inadequate ventilation), breathe too little oxygen or become overheated (from overbundling).”