An Improved Home-Use Monitor to Detect Apnea Associated with Sudden Infant Death
The Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS), associated with apnea in appearently healthy infants, is the most common cause of death of in-fants aged between 2 weeks and 1 year and the second major cause of death, after accidents, of children between 2 weeks and 15 years old. In the USA, SID Claims one of every 350 children born alive annually (Encyclopaedia Britannica 1983). It is estimated that 2000 children die of SID each year in the Federal Republic of Germany. The only reliable Solution is to continuously monitor infant respiration in the first year of life. This remains impractical due to the high costs of monitoring equipment, difficulty of application, and stressful ef-fects of false alarms, etc. The device currently used measure respiration by means of specialized mattresses, rheographic pneumography with electrodes, or air-filled capsules attached to the baby with tape. All these methods are inconvenient, unreliable, and expensive. Therefore we have designed a transportable, light, easily applicable, battery-operated device to. monitor infant breathing patterns. It is based on the change of impedance in a small flexible loop of nonirri-tating material held against the stomach by the diaper. Any prolonged pause in breathing can be used to trigger awakening Stimuli: first a light tactile Stimulus to the baby, then a strong tactile Stimulus and an acoustic alarm for both the infant and parents.