Heartlight – Delivery room acquisition time for a novel forehead heart rate sensor for newborn resuscitation

Title “Heartlight – Delivery room acquisition time for a novel forehead heart rate sensor for newborn resuscitation”
Authors Ward, C.; Teoh, J.; Grubb, M.; Crowe, J.; Hayes-Gill, B.; Marlow, N.; Sharkey, D.
Publication Pediatric Research, Vol. SUPP 1, pp. 480, November 2010.
Link https://doi.org/10.1203/00006450-201011001-00962
Abstract Background: Approximately 10% of newborn babies require some form of resuscitation at birth. Heart rate (HR) is one of the best indicators of effective resuscitation and is currently assessed with a stethoscope. However, this is not continuous, can interrupt resuscitation and is calculated incorrectly in 20-30% of cases. Pulse oximeters, attached to limbs, are not designed for monitoring HR and are unreliable in low perfusion states frequently observed in sick newborn infants. Use of a forehead HR sensor would be advantageous allowing quick placement, continuous monitoring and improved reliability in low perfusion states.

Aims: Develop a user friendly, quick and reliable forehead HR sensor for use in newborn infants requiring delivery room resuscitation.

Methods: We have developed a forehead HR sensor (HeartLight), utilising patented reflectance photoplethysmography technology, to detect changes in pulse volume with a rapid acquisition time. The HeartLight can be sited within ten seconds. Following the development in the NICU, we examined the acquisition time of the HeartLight sensor in the delivery room in term newborn babies (birth weight 3263±486g, n=16). Time to acquire a reliable signal was measured from the time the sensor was activated.

Results: Median time to obtain the first two consecutive pulsations was 1.8 seconds (IQR 1.4- 8.0s) and the first ten consecutive pulsations was 13.2 seconds (IQR 4.4-50.8s).

Conclusion: The HeartLight sensor may offer a simple, quick and continuous way to monitor the newborn HR during delivery room resuscitation. HeartLight is currently undergoing further development and clinical trials in preterm deliveries.

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