International newborn resuscitation guidelines recommend electrocardiogram (ECG) heart rate (HR) monitoring at birth. The below study evaluated the application time of pre-set ECG electrodes fixed to a polyethene patch allowing adhesive-free attachment to the wet skin of the newborn chest. Using a three-electrode pre-set ECG patch configuration, application success was calculated using video analysis and measured at three time points, the time to
- Apply the electrodes
- Detect recognizable QRS complexes after application
- Display a heart rate after electrode application.
A prospective observational study in two UK tertiary maternity units was undertaken with 71 newborns including 23 who required resuscitation.
The study concluded that pre-set ECG chest electrodes allow rapid heart rate information at birth without electrode detachment or compromising skin integrity.
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