Infantile Bradycardia Causes, Diagnosis, Symptoms and Treatment
Bradycardias are common during infancy. They occur when the heart rate does not return to normal within a reasonable time after the child’s birth.
This condition is called infantile bradycardia. It occurs because of various reasons. One reason is due to physical or mental factors such as:
1) Congenital abnormalities in the heart (congenital cardiac anomalies).
2) Low blood volume or anemia (low haemoglobin level).
3) Opiate or analgesic use by the mother during pregnancy.
4) Low thyroid hormones.
5) Low glucose (blood sugar) level (hypoglycemia).
6) Central nervous system problems such as trauma and stroke.
7) Low blood pressure (hypotension).
8) Multiple births such as twins, triplets or more.
The above factors are more likely to cause neonatal bradycardia in infants.
The other factors are less likely to cause infant bradycardia, but they can still lead to this condition.
These factors include:
Older maternal age (over 30 years).
Low birth weight.
A small for gestational age infant as compared to their sibling(s) at the same gestational age.
Older or multigestational fetuses in the womb.
How is Infantile Bradycardia Diagnosed?
Infant bradycardia can sometimes be diagnosed without any tests at all.
One of the following signs may cause the doctor to suspect bradycardia in an infant:
Apgar scores that are lower than 7 at one or more minutes after birth.
A heart rate that is lower than 100 beats per minute (bpm).
A pulse that is not palpable.
A very low blood pressure (hypotension).
Sources & references used in this article:
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- Contact dermatitis and bradycardia in a preterm infant given tetracaine 4% gel (A Taddio, CM Lee, B Parvez, G Koren… – Therapeutic drug …, 2006 – journals.lww.com)
- Development of bradycardia during sedation with dexmedetomidine in an infant concurrently receiving digoxin (JW Berkenbosch, JD Tobias – Pediatric Critical Care Medicine, 2003 – journals.lww.com)
- Necrotizing enterocolitis in the premature infant: neonatal nursing assessment, disease pathogenesis, and clinical presentation (KE Gregory, CE DeForge, KM Natale… – Advances in neonatal …, 2011 – ncbi.nlm.nih.gov)
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