• Bedside detection of low systemic flow in the very low birth weight infant on day 1 of life.

      Miletin, J; Pichova, K; Dempsey, E M; Department of Paediatrics and Newborn Medicine, Coombe Women and Infants, University Hospital, Dolphin's Barn, Dublin 8, Ireland. miletinj@yahoo.com (2012-02-01)
      We aimed to assess the relationship between the clinical and biochemical parameters of perfusion and superior vena cava (SVC) flow in a prospective observational cohort study of very low birth weight (VLBW) infants. Newborns with congenital heart disease were excluded. Echocardiographic evaluation of SVC flow was performed in the first 24 h of life. Capillary refill time (forehead, sternum and toe), mean blood pressure, urine output and serum lactate concentration were also measured simultaneously. Thirty-eight VLBW infants were examined. Eight patients (21%) had SVC flow less than 40 ml/kg/min. There was a poor correlation between the capillary refill time (in all sites), mean blood pressure, urine output and SVC flow. The correlation coefficient for the serum lactate concentration was r = -0.28, p = 0.15. The median serum lactate concentration was 3.5 (range 2.8-8.5) vs. 2.7 (range 1.2-6.9) mmol/l (p = 0.01) in low flow versus normal flow states. A serum lactate concentration of >2.8 was 100% sensitive and 60% specific for detecting a low flow state. Combining a capillary refill time of >4 s with a serum lactate concentration of >4 mmol/l had a specificity of 97% for detecting a low SVC flow state. Serum lactate concentrations are higher in low SVC flow states. A capillary refill time of >4 s combined with serum lactate concentrations >4 mmol/l increased the specificity and positive and negative predictive values of detecting a low SVC flow state.
    • A comparison of blood pressure measurements in newborns.

      O'Shea, Joyce; Dempsey, Eugene M; Department of Newborn Medicine, Coombe Women's Hospital, Dublin, Ireland. (2012-02-01)
      Blood pressure monitoring is an essential component of neonatal intensive care. We compared invasive and noninvasive (Dinamap, Marquette, and Dash) recordings in newborns and also noninvasive values obtained from upper and lower limbs. Infants' blood pressure was recorded every 6 hours for 72 hours using three noninvasive devices and compared with invasive readings taken simultaneously. Twenty-five babies were enrolled in the study, with birth weights of 560 to 4500 g and gestation 24 + 1 to 40 + 5 weeks. Three hundred thirty-two recordings were obtained. Comparison between invasive and noninvasive readings revealed that all three noninvasive monitors overread mean blood pressure. There was no significant difference between the cuff recordings obtained from the upper or lower limbs. All three noninvasive devices overestimated mean blood pressure values compared with invasive monitoring. Clinicians may be falsely reassured by noninvasive monitoring. Mean blood pressure values obtained from the upper and lower limb are similar.