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Children with Sleep Apnea have a hard time using the PAP machine

March 13th, 2006

Children with Sleep Apnea have a hard time using the PAP machine

ResMed CPAP machine

A recent six month study from John Hopkins Childrenís Center along with two other pediatric hospitals found that children with Positive airway pressure (PAP) have a hard time using the equipment on a regular basis.  This research study was first reported in the March issue of Pediatrics.

The PAP mask which allows for air to flow steadily in the air passage way improves the health of obstructive sleep apnea patients.  If the child fails to use the equipment on a regular basis the health benefits are not seen.  Young children also can have breathing problems during sleep that can affect how they behave during the day and at school.

 

There are an estimated 2 percent of children in the United States that have sleep apnea.  The Children with sleep apnea may snore at night, have interrupted breathing, sleep in unusual positions and be affected during daytime hours.  Children with sleep apnea may have either an anatomic, or neuromotor causes and can sometimes have a combination of both.  A common cause of children with sleep apnea is enlarged tonsils and adenoids, which is usually removed as a first line of treatment.  When the children used the PAP machines to aid their nighttime sleep the parents reported that they had improved alertness while at school.  If children fail to address the sleep apnea problems in childhood it can develop into hypertension, cardiovascular disease, diabetes and increased mortality later in life.

"Despite improvements with even irregular use of the device, parents often say children are using PAP when the study shows they are not," said Ann Halbower, M.D. who is a pediatric pulmonologist at the Johns Hopkins Children's Center. "Obstructive sleep apnea can cause learning, memory and IQ problems. Additionally, it affects breathing and oxygen levels, and while PAP therapy helps the apnea, the maximum benefits come only over time and with consistent use."

 

The study looked at 29 children age ranging from 2 years through 16 years of age.  The researchers showed the proper way to use the PAP mask for use daily use for sleep.  There was an initial sleep study completed at the beginning of the study for all 29 children.  After the 6 month follow-up they did another sleep study follow up on 20 children.  The researchers completed surveys with the parents of the 20 children that completed the 6 month study in regards to how often they used the equipment and they also compared the computer data collected by the machine itself.  Some CPAP machines are able to tabulate how many hours of use each night along with any sleep apnea events an the air pressure setting used at the time.

For the study, researchers enrolled 29 children between 2 and 16 years of age and instructed them to use the PAP masks at home every night. The 29 children underwent a baseline sleep study at enrollment, and 20 of them returned for a follow-up sleep study after six months. In addition, investigators surveyed the parents of the 20 children who completed the study to get their account of usage, and also tallied recorded usage data built into the PAP devices.

 

"What this means is that with treatment, sleep apnea basically went from severe to mild or better," said Halbower.

Parentís answers on the survey were exaggerated around two hours short every night when compared against the CPAP machines data.  The average for the children was around five hours each night.  The researchers said this was not enough usage on the machine to achieve the full benefits.  There were around 78 percent of the parents that said their child did not use the PAP machine every night.

Halbower suggests that further research needs to be completed to find out reasons for non-compliance and also to develop maybe a better treatment for children that are not able to tolerate the PAP.

 
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Nicole Wilson
Best Syndication

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Copyright 2005 Best Syndication                                            Last Updated Saturday, July 10, 2010 09:48 PM