Have you heard about the Brief Resolved Unexplained Event in babies? Here’s what you need to know about this condition!
What is Brief Resolved Unexplained Event?
Brief Resolved Unexplained Event (BRUE) is a term used to describe an episode in an infant younger than one year of age that is characterized by one or more of the following symptoms:
- A brief episode of color change, such as blueness or pallor
- Brief periods of not breathing or difficulty breathing, known as apnea or respiratory distress
- Changes in muscle tone, such as limpness or stiffness
- Altered level of consciousness
BRUE episodes can be very alarming for parents, and the cause of the event is often unknown. BRUE is considered a diagnosis of exclusion.
Meaning that other potential causes of the symptoms, such as seizures or infections, must be ruled out before a diagnosis of BRUE can be made.
Most infants with BRUE have a good prognosis and do not experience any further episodes. However, some infants may require further evaluation or monitoring, such as an evaluation by a pediatric specialist or a sleep study to monitor breathing patterns during sleep.
If you suspect that your infant has had a BRUE episode, it’s important to seek medical attention right away. A healthcare provider can evaluate your infant and determine the best course of action.
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Causes of Brief Resolved Unexplained Event
The exact cause of a Brief Resolved Unexplained Event (BRUE) is unknown, but there are several factors that may contribute to the occurrence of a BRUE episode. Some of these factors include:
- Gastroesophageal reflux (GER): GER is a condition where stomach acid flows back up into the esophagus, which can cause irritability and coughing in infants. In some cases, GER can lead to a BRUE episode.
- Immature nervous system: The nervous system of infants is not fully developed, which can lead to episodes of apnea, or brief periods of not breathing.
- Infection: Certain infections, such as respiratory infections or meningitis, can cause respiratory distress or altered mental status in infants.
- Obstructed airway: An obstruction in the airway, such as a blockage caused by mucus or a foreign object, can cause breathing difficulties in infants.
- Sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS): In rare cases, a BRUE episode may be an early warning sign of SIDS.
It’s important to note that in many cases, the cause of a BRUE episode remains unknown even after a thorough evaluation by a healthcare provider.
Symptoms of Brief Resolved Unexplained Event
Brief Resolved Unexplained Event (BRUE) is a term used to describe an episode in infants younger than one year of age that involves a sudden, brief, and self-limited episode of one or more of the following:
- Cyanosis or pallor (blue or pale coloration of the skin)
- Absent, decreased, or irregular breathing
- Markedly increased or decreased tone (floppiness or stiffness)
- Altered level of responsiveness
BRUE may be a frightening experience for parents. But it usually resolves quickly and without intervention.
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Treatment for Brief Resolved Unexplained Event
Since a Brief Resolved Unexplained Event (BRUE) is a self-limited event that resolves spontaneously and quickly, treatment is not usually necessary during the episode itself.
However, it is important to seek medical attention if an infant experiences a BRUE to rule out any serious underlying medical conditions that may require treatment.
During the medical evaluation, the healthcare provider will conduct a thorough physical examination and may order additional tests. Such as blood tests or imaging studies, to rule out any potential underlying medical conditions.
If an underlying medical condition is identified, treatment will depend on the specific condition. In some cases, medication or surgical intervention may be necessary.
In addition to medical treatment, parents and caregivers of infants who have experienced a BRUE may benefit from education and support to help them manage their anxiety and cope with the experience.
This may include education about infant CPR and first aid. As well as counseling or support groups to address any emotional concerns or trauma related to the episode.
How to prevent Brief Resolved Unexplained Events?
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Since the exact cause of a Brief Resolved Unexplained Event (BRUE) is often unknown. It can be difficult to prevent it from occurring. However, there are some general measures that can be taken to reduce the risk of a BRUE episode in infants, including:
Infants should be placed on their backs to sleep, on a firm and flat sleep surface that is free from any soft objects or loose bedding. This can reduce the risk of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS), which may be associated with BRUE.
- Avoiding exposure to tobacco smoke
Infants should not be exposed to tobacco smoke, as this can increase the risk of respiratory problems and infections.
Infants should have regular check-ups with a healthcare provider to ensure that they are growing and developing appropriately.
If an infant experiences any symptoms of respiratory distress or altered mental status. It’s important to seek medical attention right away.
Proper feeding techniques:
Infants should be fed in an upright position and burped frequently during and after feeding to reduce the risk of gastroesophageal reflux. Which may be associated with BRUE.
While these measures may help reduce the risk of a BRUE episode. It’s important to remember that BRUE is often unpredictable and may occur even in otherwise healthy infants. If you have any concerns about your infant’s health, it’s important to discuss them with a healthcare provider.
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