Objectives: Electrical cardiometry and heart ultrasound might allow hemodynamic evaluation during transportation of critically ill patients. Our aims were 1) to test feasibility of stroke volume monitoring using electrical cardiometry or ultrasound during transportation and 2) to investigate if transportation impacts on electrical cardiometry and ultrasound reliability.
Design: Prospective, pragmatic, feasibility cohort study.
Setting: Mobile ICUs specialized for neonatal and pediatric transportation.
Patients: Thirty hemodynamically stable neonates and infants.
Interventions: Patients enrolled underwent paired stroke volume measurements (180 before/after and 180 during the transfer) by electrical cardiometry (SVEC) and ultrasound (SVUS).
Measurements and main results: No problems or malfunctioning occurred neither with electrical cardiometry nor with ultrasound. Ultrasound lasted on average 90 (10) seconds, while 45 (15) seconds were needed to instigate electrical cardiometry monitoring. Coefficient of variation was higher for SVUS (before/after: 0.57; during: 0.66) than for SVEC (before/after: 0.38; during: 0.36). Correlations between SVEC and SVUS before/after and during the transfer were r equal to 0.57 and r equal to 0.8, respectively (p always < 0.001). Bland-Altman analysis showed that stroke volume tends to be higher if measured by electrical cardiometry. SVEC measured before (5.5 [2.4] mL), during (5.4 [2.4] mL), and after the transfer (5.4 [2.3] mL) are similar (p = 0.955); same applies for SVUS before (2.6 [1.5] mL), during (2.4  mL), and after (2.9  mL) the transfer (p = 0.268).
Conclusions: Basic hemodynamic monitoring is feasible during pediatric and neonatal transportation both with electrical cardiometry and ultrasound. These two techniques show comparable reliability, although stroke volume was higher if measured by electrical cardiometry. The transportation itself does not affect the reliability of stroke volume measurements.