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Arch Dis Child Fetal Neonatal Ed. 2018 Nov 13. pii: fetalneonatal-2017-314366. doi: 10.1136/archdischild-2017-314366. [Epub ahead of print]

Randomised study comparing heart rate measurement in newly born infants using a monitor incorporating electrocardiogram and pulse oximeter versus pulse oximeter alone.

Author information

National Maternity Hospital, Dublin, Ireland.
National Children's Research Centre, Dublin, Ireland.
School of Medicine, University College Dublin, Dublin, Ireland.
Vittore Buzzi Hospital, University of Milan, Milan, Italy.
Our Lady's Children's Hospital, Dublin, Ireland.



To determine whether IntelliVue (ECG plus Masimo pulse oximeter (PO)) measures heart rate (HR) in low-risk newborns more quickly than Nellcor PO (PO alone).


Unmasked parallel group randomised (1:1) study.


We studied 100 infants, 47 randomised to IntelliVue, 53 to Nellcor. Time to first HR was shorter with IntelliVue ECG than Nellcor (median (IQR) 24 (19, 39) vs 48 (36, 69) s, p<0.001). There was no difference in time to display both HR and SpO2 (52 (47, 76) vs 48 (36, 69) s, p=0.507). IntelliVue PO displayed initial bradycardia more often than the Nellcor (55% vs 6%). Infants monitored with IntelliVue were handled more frequently and for longer.


IntelliVue ECG displayed HR more quickly than Nellcor PO. IntelliVue PO often displayed initial bradycardia. Infants monitored with IntelliVue were handled more often. Study of ECG in high-risk infants is warranted.


electrocardiogram; heart rate; infant; newborn; pulse oximeter

Conflict of interest statement

Competing interests: None declared.

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