Inpatient comparison of wireless and wired pulse oximetry in neonates

Harrell, M.D., Dobson, N.R., Olsen, C., Ahmed, A., Hunt, C.E. | JNPM 2022;

Abstract: BACKGROUND: To compare oxygen saturation (SpO2) and heart rate (HR) recorded by a reference wired pulse oximeter to a wireless pulse oximeter in inpatient neonates. METHODS: Term infants born≥37 + 0 weeks and preterm infants born≤35 + 0 weeks gestation were enrolled and time-matched data pairs were obtained. The primary outcome was intraclass correlation coefficient and r-values between the two oximeters for heart rate and oxygen saturation. RESULTS: Thirty term and 20 preterm neonates were enrolled. There was a high degree of correlation between the two oximeters for HR (r = 0.926) among all 50 infants, and excellent interclass correlation (ICC = 0.961), but there were no bradycardia episodes in either term or preterm infants. There was a lesser degree of correlation for SpO2 values in the term and preterm groups (r = 0.242; 0.521, respectively) along with moderate interclass correlation (ICC = 0.719) but few episodes of hypoxemia≤90% occurred in enrolled subjects. CONCLUSIONS: There were no significant differences between the wireless and reference wired oximeters for assessing HR. There was less correlation between the two oximeters for monitoring SpO2 in both the term and preterm group. Wireless pulse oximetry may have practical advantages for use in inpatient neonates, but additional studies are needed that include bradycardia and desaturation events to delineate this question.

*Corresponding Author: 

Mathew D. Harrell DO, Department of Pediatrics, Tripler Army Medical Center, 1 Jarrett White Road, Honolulu, HI, 96818, USA. Tel.: +1 937 371 9746; E-mail: