Pleasant Smell May Reduce Apnea In Preemies

Premature newborns have a heightened risk of sleep apnea -- brief periods when they stop breathing -- but pumping a pleasant odor into their incubators seems to reduce the frequency of such spells, a study from France suggests. More effective treatments are needed for the common problem of recurrent apnea among premature babies, Dr. Luc Marlier from Center Hospitalier Regional Universitaire de Hautepierre in Strasbourg note in the medical journal Pediatrics. In a previous study that examined the ability of preterm infants to detect and discriminate between different odors, Dr. Marlier's team observed that pleasant odors led to an increase in their breathing rate, particularly during active sleep.

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