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Entries in Heart Rate (1)

Wednesday
Mar162011

New Guidelines Proposed for Assessing and Resuscitating Children

Ryan McVay/Thinkstock(OXFORD, England) -- After a review of 69 studies including 143,000 children, researchers say the guidelines for pediatric heart and breathing rate reference ranges should be updated.

Dr. Matthew Thompson of the UK's Oxford University and colleagues suggested new reference ranges that are used for assessing and resuscitating children.

The new reference ranges show that a child's respiratory rate from birth to early adolescence decreases, with the sharpest decline occurring under the age of two.  Median breaths per minute fell from 44 at birth to 26 breaths per minute at age two.

The median heart rate in children also climbs from 127 beats per minute at birth to a maximal 145 beats per minute at one month.  By age two, the median heart rate decreases to 113 beats per minute, according to the researchers.

The researchers concluded that the guidelines should be changed due to the differences between the existing published guidelines and the findings of their recent review.

"Our centile charts of respiratory rate and heart rate in children provide new evidence-based reference ranges for these vital signs," they wrote in the report published in the March 15 online edition of The Lancet. "We have shown that there is substantial disagreement between these reference ranges, and those currently cited in international pediatric guidelines."

They add that the current reference ranges should be "updated with new thresholds on the basis of our proposed centile charts," particularly in cases where the differences between their charts and the current ranges are so large that many children are not likely classified correctly.

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