Treatment is recommended when the apnoeic spells are recurrent and prolonged or require resuscitation. It is important to identify and treat any underlying cause – such as placing the premature infant under a warmer, blood transfusion as necessary and treatment of hypoglycaemia. Some infants with obstructive or mixed apnoea require respiratory support such as Continuous Positive Airway Pressure (CPAP). Methylxanthine therapy (caffeine) has also been shown to reduce the number of apnoeic episodes. If such interventions fail, some infants require mechanical ventilation for persistent apnoea.
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