Respiratory rate (RR) is a valuable early marker of illness in vulnerable infants, but current monitoring methods are unsuitable for sustained home use. We have demonstrated accurate measurement of RR from brief recordings of pulse oximeter plethysmogram (pleth) trace in full-term neonates in hospital. This study assessed the feasibility of this method in preterm infants during overnight recordings in the home. We collected simultaneous overnight SpO2, pleth and respiratory inductive plethysmography (RIP) on 24 preterm infants in the home. RR from pleth analysis was compared with RR from RIP bands; pleth quality was assessed by the presence of visible artefact. Median (range) RR from RIP and pleth were not significantly different at 42 (25–65) and 42 (25–64) breaths/min. Median (range) % of epochs rejected due to artefact was 20 (8–75) for pleth and 10 (3–53) for RIP. Our results suggest that home RR monitoring by pulse oximeter pleth signal is accurate and feasible.
- respiratory rate
- pulse oximetry