Continuous monitoring of various clinical parameters of hemodynamic and respiratory status in pediatric critical care medicine has become routine. The evidence supporting these practices is examined in this review.
A search of MEDLINE, EMBASE, PubMed, and the Cochrane Database was conducted to find controlled trials of heart rate, electrocardiography, noninvasive and invasive blood pressure, atrial pressure, end-tidal carbon dioxide, and pulse oximetry monitoring. Adult and pediatric data were considered. Guidelines published by the Society for Critical Care Medicine, the American Heart Association, the American Academy of Pediatrics, and the International Liaison Committee on Resuscitation were reviewed, including further review of references cited.
Results and Conclusions:
Use of heart rate, electrocardiography, noninvasive and arterial blood pressure, atrial pressure, pulse oximetry, and end-tidal carbon dioxide monitoring in the pediatric critical care unit is commonplace; this practice, however, is not supported by well-controlled clinical trials. Despite the majority of literature being case series, expert opinion would suggest that use of routine pulse oximetry and end-tidal carbon dioxide is the current standard of care. In addition, literature would suggest that invasive arterial monitoring is the current standard for monitoring in the setting of shock. The use of heart rate, electrocardiography. and atrial pressure monitoring is advantageous in specific clinical scenarios (postoperative cardiac surgery); however, the evidence for this is based on numerous case series only.