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Welcome, medical contents search April 25, 2013
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Breath-Holding Spells

more about Breath-Holding Spells

  • This term describes the condition that occurs when infants take a short gasp, exhale, and cease breathing.  It usually occurs in children younger than 4 years of age but rare before 6 months of age.
  • It can be classified by the mechanism as cyanotic breath-holding spells or pallid breath-holding spells.

  • It is a reflexive response to fear, pain, or anger.
  • Cyanotic breath-holding spells are caused by prolonged exhalation following crying.
  • Pallid breath-holding spells are caused by the absence of a heartbeat.

  • Bluish lips or pallor following crying
  • Several jerky movements
  • Seizure in pallid breath-holding spell
  • Loss of consciousness
  • Slow heart beat in pallid breath-holding spell

  • Based on history
  • EEG to rule out Seizure disorder

  • Cyanotic breath-holding spells:
  1. It is a self-limiting condition.
  2. Usually requires no treatment
  • Pallid breath-holding spells: Atropine can be used

more about Breath-Holding Spells

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