1. NO RESCUE OXYGEN
It's 2:00 AM and the monitor is alarming. Your baby is blue and not breathing. You call 911 but it will be a few minute before paramedics arrive. Rescue oxygen is a must anytime an apnea monitor is being used.
2. LIMITS ARE NOT CORRECT
Typically, the prescribing doctor will set limits (when to alarm at slow heart rate, fast heart rate and lung movement) on the monitor prior to first use. The alarm limits are decided by the baby's age are lowered as the baby gets older. Store bought monitor normally have low limits (that can not be changed) to avoid false alarms.
Store bought monitors are not made for prolong use, they break quickly which causes unreliable readings.
4. NO DATA = NO TREATMENT PLAN
If the doctor can not download and view the data, he/she can not prescribe treatment, i.e. extra oxygen, CPAP, BiPAP, surgery, reflux medication or a sleep study.
5. LACK OF EDUCATION
When a baby is prescribed a hospital grade apnea monitor, the medical company comes to the house, gives a CPR class to parents and caregivers, offers education on how to properly use the machine along with proving parents with plan of action, should their child stop breathing.
6. NOT AS SENSITIVE
Store bought breathing monitors are known for not detecting actual events.
Megan says, "I would regularly witness my son stop breathing and the lights flashed green as if everything was fine. Around nine months old we found out he had moderate to severe sleep apnea and would have frequent pauses in breathing over 25 seconds in length which should have set the alarm off, but never did."
7. POOR FIT
Hospital grade apnea monitors are made to fit growing babies. As the baby grows, the medical supply company supplies new leads and equipment to ensure an accurate read.
Christina says, "We tried a store bought monitor but the elastic dug into my son's skin and I had trouble getting it to read."
8. FALSE SENSE OF SECURITY
Parents see the monitor flashing green, not alarming and believe everything is alright. Significant apnea can go undetected by using a store bought breathing monitor.
9. THEY DON'T MONITOR EVERYTHING
Hospital grade apnea monitors monitor heart rate (slow and fast) and lung movement. Store bought monitors don't normally monitor all three. Some just monitor breathing while others just monitor movement.
10. NOT MADE TO DETECT APNEA
For a baby without an airway defect, a store bought breathing monitor is probably a good way to ease a new parent's mind. The truth of the matter is, store bought breathing monitors are not made to detect apnea, which is a symptom of laryngomalacia. While it may be easier to purchase a breathing monitor online (and have it shipped to your house, thanks Amazon Prime!) than to bother your baby's doctor (or even have a sleep study done) the reality is, it's not worth it. Severe, untreated apnea can cause life altering complications that can be prevented by using a hospital grade apnea monitor.
If you believe your baby stops breathing during sleep please call his/her doctor immediately and ask for a sleep study.
In health & happiness,