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Heart - respiratory monitor
Heart - respiratory monitor


Alternative Names:

Cardiorespiratory monitor - infants; Apnea monitor - infants; Heart rate monitor - infants



Information:

A heart–respiratory monitor can measure a baby's:

  • Breathing rate
  • Blood pressure
  • Heart beat
  • Oxygen level

Caregivers can use these measurements to determine how the baby is doing, and help make decisions regarding treatments and medicines.

The monitor often uses stick-on electrodes, or patches, that detect chest movement and the heart beat. The patches are attached to the baby in several places on the chest or the stomach, and connect to the monitor using an electric cable.

Electrodes may cause mild skin irritation. Extremely premature babies with very sensitive skin may need special gel-like electrodes to reduce skin damage.

If blood pressure is being monitored, a cuff will be placed on the baby's arm or leg.

Oxygen levels are monitored using a pulse oximeter, which is a small red light device placed on the baby's finger or toe. It does not harm the skin.

It's important to note that monitors are electrical instruments and they may not work if there is power loss or an electrical problem. Although monitoring capabilities are lost, there is no risk to the baby.




Review Date: 11/30/2008
Reviewed By: Neil K. Kaneshiro, MD, MHA, Clinical Assistant Professor of Pediatrics, University of Washington School of Medicine. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, A.D.A.M., Inc.

The information provided herein should not be used during any medical emergency or for the diagnosis or treatment of any medical condition. A licensed medical professional should be consulted for diagnosis and treatment of any and all medical conditions. Call 911 for all medical emergencies. Links to other sites are provided for information only -- they do not constitute endorsements of those other sites. © 1997- A.D.A.M., Inc. Any duplication or distribution of the information contained herein is strictly prohibited.
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Wentworth-Douglass Hospital
789 Central Avenue, Dover, NH 03820
Phone: (603) 742-5252
Toll free: 1 (877) 201-7100