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Evaluation of a digital stethoscope in transitioning term infants after birth

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Prompt and accurate assessment of a newborn’s heart rate (HR) is critical when making decisions during neonatal transition.1 Recently, a digital stethoscope (DS) was found to be promising, but requiring improvements in precision and accuracy.2 We aimed to investigate the performance of an updated version of the DS to evaluate neonatal HR in the delivery room (DR).

A convenience sample of infants transitioning after an elective caesarean section were enrolled with written informed parental consent. Immediately after birth, the infants were assessed on a warming bed; three-lead ECG (IntelliVue X2; Philips, Suresnes, France) was applied to the infant’s chest followed by placing the DS (diameter 36 mm, depth 25 mm) with attached smart device (Clinicloud3) over the praecordium. Video recordings captured both displays and data were recorded every second for 60 s. Episodes of crying were documented. Data were analysed first using all data points available …

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