It is important to find out if the apnea is caused by prematurity or if it is caused by another problem. Your baby’s healthcare provider will examine your baby. He or she will check many of your baby's body systems to find out what might be causing the apnea. Your baby’s breathing rate, heart rate, temperature, and blood pressure will be continuously checked. Tests used to diagnose the problem may include:
- Blood oxygen levels. Babies have their oxygen levels continuously checked.
- Blood tests. These check blood counts, blood sugar levels, and electrolyte levels. They also check for signs of infection.
- Lab tests. The fluid around the brain and spinal cord, urine, and stool may be checked for infection and other problems.
- X-ray, ultrasound, or other imaging studies. The healthcare provider may order X-rays or other pictures of the upper airways and lungs, brain, heart, or digestive system.
- Sleep studies. Vital signs and oxygen levels are checked.