In contrast to standard respiratory monitoring, transcutaneuous diaphragmatic EMG (dEMG) measurement is more accurate to detect central apneaKR2 in premature neonates. Because it measures the action of the main respiratory muscle and is not affected by other movements of the chest.
The importance of monitoring
Premature babies are very unstable with respect to breathing and heart rate. Many conditions can lead to cessation of breathing (apnea). Apnea often coincide with a drop in heart rate (bradycardia). Prolonged apnea may lead to lack of oxygen that is harmful for the brain. Therefore, episodes of apnea with bradycardia require prompt interventions by the nurses. This is only possible with a sound monitoring system.
What is the difference between dEMG and chest impedance monitoring
Chest impedance (CI) is the current standard for cardiorespiratory monitoring, that record every movement of the chest and translates this signal in breathing. Transcutaneous dEMG measures the activity of the main muscle that is responsible for breathing. It is thus a direct measurement of respiration, whereas CI records every chest movement, also movements that are not breathing related. It has been demonstrated that dEMG is more accurate in detecting central apnea.
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