Effect of Earmuffs on Physiological Parameters of Preterm Neonates Nursed in Incubators: A Before-and-After Study
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OBJECTIVE: To determine the effect of earmuffs on stability of physiological parameters i.e. heart rate, respiratory rate, and oximeter saturation (SpO2)] in preterm neonates. METHODS: Non-randomized, cross-over study. 60 stable preterm neonates observed without and with earmuffs for 2 hours each (control and intervention periods, respectively). The above parameters were recorded every 60 seconds. Spikes of parameters and fluctuation [by coefficient of variation (CoV)] were compared between periods. RESULTS: Spikes of all parameters, as a proportion of observations, were significantly less in intervention period. Median (Q1, Q2) spikes per subject were lower in intervention vs control: tachycardia [2.5 (2.5, 18) vs. 20.5 (2.2, 37.7); P<0.01]; tachypnea [11.5 (11.5, 25) vs. 18 (2, 40) vs; P=0.01] and hypoxia [0 (0, 0) vs. 0 (0, 1.75); P<0.01]. There was significantly less fluctuation of heart rate and SpO2 with earmuffs. CONCLUSION: Earmuffs improve physiological stability of preterms.
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