Article Text

other Versions

Download PDFPDF
Randomised study comparing heart rate measurement in newly born infants using a monitor incorporating electrocardiogram and pulse oximeter versus pulse oximeter alone
  1. Madeleine C Murphy1,2,3,
  2. Laura De Angelis4,
  3. Lisa K McCarthy1,5,
  4. Colm Patrick Finbarr O’Donnell1,2,3,5
  1. 1National Maternity Hospital, Dublin, Ireland
  2. 2National Children’s Research Centre, Dublin, Ireland
  3. 3School of Medicine, University College Dublin, Dublin, Ireland
  4. 4Vittore Buzzi Hospital, University of Milan, Milan, Italy
  5. 5Our Lady’s Children’s Hospital, Dublin, Ireland
  1. Correspondence to Professor Colm Patrick Finbarr O’Donnell, Neonatal Intensive Care Unit, The National Maternity Hospital, Dublin, D02 YH21, Ireland; codonnell{at}


Aim 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).

Methods Unmasked parallel group randomised (1:1) study.

Results 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.

Conclusions 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.

  • infant
  • newborn
  • heart rate
  • electrocardiogram
  • pulse oximeter

Statistics from

Request Permissions

If you wish to reuse any or all of this article please use the link below which will take you to the Copyright Clearance Center’s RightsLink service. You will be able to get a quick price and instant permission to reuse the content in many different ways.


  • Contributors MCM participated in study concept, study design, data collection, data analysis and writing of the first draft of the manuscript. LDeA participated in data collection. LKMcC participated in data analysis and review of the manuscript prior to submission. CPFO’D participated in study concept, study design, data analysis and writing of the manuscript.

  • Funding This study was supported by National Children’s Research Centre, OLCHC, Dublin (grant number: R17637).

  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Ethics approval National Maternity Hospital Research Ethics Committee.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.