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Old 06-01-2009, 10:28 AM   #1
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Apena monitor questions???

I had my son a bit early and the doctors are sending him home with an apena monitor and on caffeine.
How hard is it to go out with the apena monitor? Is it big, or can I easily take it with us??
Also how long are the lead lines that are attached to it? Will I be able to put it in the pack n play next to him or should I get a side table to go next to the bassinet?


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Old 06-18-2009, 11:16 PM   #2
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Re: Apena monitor questions???

DD was given caffeine in the hospital and was on a monitor when she came home but the monitor was only for when she was asleep and if she stopped breathing an alarm would go off, it wasn't on all the time and was just a mat that laid under her blanket in the crib.
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Old 06-19-2009, 01:44 PM   #3
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Re: Apena monitor questions???

We don't have an apnea monitor, because DS is on a ventilator. But he had caffeine in the NICU, and we know plenty of people with apnea monitors.

It's not bad at all, really, after the first few times. We are out and about with O2 and a ventilator and assorted other equipment all the time. It's just a matter of a bit of practice and planning.

Good luck!
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~~9.5 months in the NICU, trach/g-tube, but now running around and otherwise healthy~~~
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Old 06-19-2009, 02:23 PM   #4
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Re: Apena monitor questions???

DS has been on an apnea monitor for 5 months.. its not big really.. fits into a 12x12ish size carrying bag. But FYI if the alarm goers off in public you will get a bunch of strange looks and people looking around trying to figure out where its coming from. The leads plug into a cord which is pretty long.. but just a warning its LOUD.. like smoke alarm loud!
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Old 06-19-2009, 07:24 PM   #5
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Re: Apena monitor questions???

I'm assuming you are talking a real medically prescribed device called a cardiac respitory monitor with leads to monitor heart & respiration rate (sometimes a pulse ox as well) and more commonly known as an apnea monitor since that is what it is most often prescribed for but not always (my son got his due to 2nd degree heartblock). The Apnea monitor aka CR monior is a prescribed medical device only supplied by HHC/DME type places and usually comes with a once a month visit with a respitory therapist to look at the data and determine if there are any issues or trends healthwise, they also compile the reports and send them off to the appropriate doctor.

Issues - My son was a shallow breather while sleeping and it would always set off the alarm. We couldn't use zip up footed jammies had to use ones with snaps so the leads could be threaded through the clothing. He wore a lot of onsies and romper type outfits to keep him from fiddling with the leads (he wore his monitor until 7 months of age). We had massive skin breakdown issues due to adhessive allergies. The gel leads were the worst and actually left welts on his body. Hopefully your little one won't develop the same sensitivities.

Be prepared for the panic the first time the monitor goes off and you are on your own. I have memories of running down the hall mentally reviewing infant CPR instructions only to find him sleeping peacefully and nothing wrong. Shallow breathing while asleep will set it off everytime. Thank goodness NICU babies learn to sleep through those horrible ear splitting sirens they call alarms.

It might be a good idea to have the first aid procedures you are most likely going to need written down just in case you are one of those people who forgets what your own name is in an emergency. I always had perfect recall for first aid in an emergency but Alec's daddy would forget what a roll of paper towels looked like.

The monitor is very portable. It didn't draw too many stares except when I took him for professional photos and had to take the leads off and put them back on in the waiting room. I rarely had it go off in public except when a lead would pull lose so check leads before leaving and switch them out if you don't want to chance the alarm going off and drawing attention. Also make sure the monitor is in reach so you can turn it off quickly once the child is checked otherwise you are going to get a lot of looks.

Gel leads stick better and are better conductors but are much harsher to a baby's skin. Some babies can handle them and it will cut down on the false alarms. Our HHC gave us as many leads as needed so you can ask for extras when the respitory therapist comes out to download the monitor or they can overnight them to you. Don't feel like you are being unreasonable if you have to make them overnight supplies or drive out to you. They are used to it because of gravity of medical conditions a lot of their patients have. They should have an emergency number to reach them after hours.

I forgot you can also use a belt to hold the leads on designed to wrap around the chest. Our HHC didn't like to use them, I forgot why but we trialed one for a day and hated it.

ETA: Didn't aswer all your questions. I think the lead wires were around 3 feet long but it has been several years since we had the monitor so my memory is fuzzy on that detail. There is no reason the monitor we had couldn't go into the crib or pack and play because the buttons were too hard to push for an infant to manipulate AND the handle on the bag snapped off so it wouldn't be a stragulation hazard but you could buy an adhesive wall hook or single coat hook to hang it on the wall next to pnp or if the pnp isn't against the wall you can use one of those over the door hooks to hang it off the pnp. I seem to remember putting ours in the crib. Since Alec has heart issues we have to do frequent heart tests that require 24 hour holter monitoring. I usually unsnap the shoulder strap and throw it into the crib with him.

Last edited by mekat; 06-19-2009 at 07:37 PM.
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Old 06-21-2009, 02:26 PM   #6
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Re: Apena monitor questions???

thanks so much for all your info.
He's coming home tomorrow hopefully so we'll see how it's all gonna work. I'm not really nervous anymore, I just want my baby to come home!
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