Cardiorespiratory monitoring is used in the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) to assess the clinical status of newborn infants and detect critical deteriorations in cardiorespiratory function. Currently, heart rate (HR) is monitored by electrocardiography (ECG) and respiration by chest impedance (CI). Disadvantages of current monitoring techniques are usage of wired adhesive electrodes which may damage the skin and hinder care. The Bambi® belt is a wireless and non-adhesive alternative that enables cardiorespiratory monitoring by measuring electrical activity of the diaphragm via transcutaneous electromyography. A previous study showed feasibility of the Bambi® belt and this study compares the belt performance to ECG and CI.
Methods and analysis
This multicentre non-inferiority paired study will be performed in the NICU of the Máxima Medical Center (MMC) in Veldhoven and the Emma Children’s Hospital, Amsterdam University Medical Centre (AmsterdamUMC) in Amsterdam, The Netherlands. 39 infants in different postmenstrual age groups (minimally 10 infants<30 weeks, between 30–32 weeks and >32 weeks) will be recruited. These infants will be monitored with the Bambi® belt in addition to standard ECG and CI for 24 hours. The primary outcome is the HR, studied with three criteria: (1) the limits of agreement of the HR measurements in terms of the second-to-second difference in the HR between the belt and standard ECG, (2) the detection of cardiac events consisting of bradycardia and tachycardia and (3) the quality of HR-monitoring. The secondary outcome is the respiratory rate (RR), studied with the criteria (1) agreement in RR-trend monitoring, (2) apnoea and tachypnoea detection and (3) reliable registrations.
Ethics and dissemination
This protocol was approved by the Medical Ethical Committee of the MMC and the Central Committee for Human Research. The MMC started patient recruitment in July and the AmsterdamUMC in August 2021. The results will be presented at conferences and published in peer-reviewed journals.
Trial registration number