There are different types of apnea since a person can stop breathing for several reasons. Among the various types of apnea, we can include cardiac apnea, swallowing apnea, neonatal apnea, sleep apnea, primary apnea, secondary apnea and reflex apnea,
Swallowing apnea refers to the oropharyngeal phase of swallowing during which breathing ceases. An abnormal swallowing at this stage is caused by an alteration in the transport of food and a disturbance of the closures of the lower respiratory tract.
Respiratory movements during swallowing leave the lower respiratory tract vulnerable to food invasion. The lack of respiratory activity of swallowing and its alteration can be demonstrated by rhinomanometry tests. These tests produce appropriate responses, which are reproducible and are not caused by other events. Three types of responses and three subgroups have been found in the 639 examinations of 120 subjects. Thirty subjects had experienced an aspiration. This event was of the potentially deadly nature in 11 of the subjects.
Apnea is a pause in breathing of more than 10 to 15 seconds, often associated with bradycardia, cyanosis or both. Apnea in UIHC is defined as the cessation of breathing for 20 seconds with the above symptoms.
Apnea in premature infants can lead to failure of mechanisms that protect cerebral blood flow, resulting in ischemia and leucomalacia eventually.
During episodes of apnea, in an attempt to protect the production of cerebral blood flow, it deviates away from the resulting mesenteric arteries in intestinal ischemia and possibly results in necrotizing enterocolitis (NEC).
Central apnea is when with asphyxia, the child responds with an increase in the airways. If the episode continues, the baby becomes APNIC and should be monitored for a drop in heart rate and a slight increase in blood pressure. The child will respond to stimulation and treatment with spontaneous breathing.
Learn more about sleep apnea types
Secondary apnea occurs when asphyxia is allowed to continue after primary apnea. The baby responds with a period of breathless breaths, falling heart rate and decreasing blood pressure. The child takes one last breath and then enters the period of secondary apnea. The baby does not respond to stimulation and death will occur unless resuscitation is started immediately.
Because after the birth of a baby, it is impossible to differentiate between primary apnea and secondary apnea, assume that the baby is in secondary apnea and begin immediate resuscitation.
Central apnea would be a weak respiratory effort that can bring breathing back, with exhaust fumes, aspiration, and stimulation. This type of apnea could also include obstructive sleep apnea. Secondary apnea may occur with prolonged delivery, delayed aspiration. Where the baby becomes so hypoxic and neurologically depressed that the PPV and subsequently, the follow-up Spo2 are the only things that can bring the respiratory impulse.
Reflex apnea is the involuntary cessation of breathing caused by irritating vapors or noxious gases.