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Postoperative monitoring of ventilation is largely restricted to the measurement of haemoglobin-oxygen saturation and respiratory rate (RR) derived from the ECG. measurement is inadequate when used with supplemental oxygen and ECG-derived RR is subject to artifacts. A new monitor measures RR by quantifying the humidity of exhaled air (respiR8(®)). The accuracy of the system was tested using a breathing simulator. In healthy volunteers, the respiR8(®) monitor was compared with two other methods of measuring RR: capnometry and counting of thoracic breathing movements. The ability of the monitor to track changes in RR resulting from the infusion of 2.5 μg kg(-1) fentanyl was assessed and compared with RR measured from a validated flow measurement system. The RR in 50 postoperative patients measured with the respiR8(®) was compared with that derived from the ECG. RR values were compared by population-based Bland-Altman analyses. The respiR8(®) monitor was accurate in the range required in clinical practice. There was a close agreement between RR from respiR8(®), capnometry, and manual counting of respiratory movements without bias (limits of agreement ±1 bpm). The respiR8(®) monitor was well able to accurately track RR changes from fentanyl. In postoperative patients, RR from respiR8(®) and ECG had a bias of 1.7 (5.7) bpm due to greater RR values observed from the ECG due to artifacts. The respiR8(®) gives an accurate measurement of RR and is useful in postoperative care.


M Niesters, R Mahajan, E Olofsen, M Boom, S Garcia Del Valle, L Aarts, A Dahan. Validation of a novel respiratory rate monitor based on exhaled humidity. British journal of anaesthesia. 2012 Dec;109(6):981-9

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PMID: 22907341

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