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A Brief Resolved Unexplained Event (or BRUE for short) happens suddenly. It can be frightening for parents and carers.
What happens during a BRUE?
If your baby has a BRUE:
• They may seem to stop breathing.
• Their skin colour may change to pale or blue.
• Their muscles may relax or tighten.
• They may seem to pass out.
This lasts less than a minute and they are quickly back to their usual self. Your baby’s doctor or health care professional will examine your baby and decide that there is no known concerning cause for the event. It will be diagnosed as a BRUE. The majority of BRUEs are thought to be due to immature reflexes.
We can never say that a baby who has had a BRUE is at no risk for future problems. But we can say that babies who are discharged from hospital after a thorough assessment are at very low risk of having another BRUE, or of having an underlying serious problem.
What if it happens again?
If your baby experiences another BRUE and you are worried that it is life threatening, call 999 for an ambulance. If you witness a similar episode or your baby develops additional problems please return to the Children’s Emergency Department. If you have any other questions or worries please contact your baby’s GP.
Should my baby stay in the hospital?
Babies felt to be at higher risk (for example, babies born prematurely, or babies under 3 months old) will be asked to stay in hospital for more tests or a longer period of observation.
Does having a BRUE increase my baby’s risk for sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS)?
There has been extensive research to look at this. Although the causes of SIDS are not known, having a BRUE does not increase the risk of SIDS.
It is noted that most SIDS occur in early hours of the morning but this is not the case for BRUEs. For all babies, it is important to create a safe home and sleeping environment and your baby should never be exposed to smoky environments.
Please visit UK guidance at The Lullaby Trust to learn more about safe sleeping for your baby.
How should I look after my baby at home?
After a BRUE, no extra special care is needed. Continue to love and care for your baby as you normally do.
Here are a few important reminders for parents and caregivers of healthy infants:
• Keep them up to date with all recommended UK immunisations.
• Take your baby regularly to the Health Visitor clinics to check their health and development.
• Protect them from smoky environments.
Though your baby is unlikely to need cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR), it is a good idea for everyone who cares for an infant to learn CPR. If you have resuscitation skills, you may also use them one day to help someone else in need.
For First Aid classes near you contact your child’s Health Visitor, St Johns Ambulance
or a local organisation such as To Baby and Beyond
Practice Plus (Brighton walk-in centre / GP service) 0333 321 0946
Open every day including bank holidays: 8:00 am to 8:00 pm
Out of hours GP service or advice NHS 111
Royal Alexandra Children’s Hospital, Children’s Emergency Department 01273 696955 Ext. 2593
Please be aware that staff in the Children’s Emergency Department will not be able to give you medical advice over the telephone.
In cases of emergency, dial 999 for an ambulance.
The information in this leaflet is for guidance purposes only and is in no way intended to replace professional clinical advice by a qualified practitioner.