Feasibility of a Novel ECG Electrode Placement Method in Newborn Infants

Neonatology. 2022;119(2):264-267. doi: 10.1159/000521530. Epub 2022 Feb 7.


Background: International newborn resuscitation guidelines recommend electrocardiogram (ECG) heart rate (HR) monitoring at birth. We evaluated the application time of pre-set ECG electrodes fixed to a polyethene patch allowing adhesive-free attachment to the wet skin of the newborn chest.

Objectives: Using a three-electrode pre-set ECG patch configuration, application success was calculated using video analysis and measured at three time points, the time to (1) apply electrodes; (2) detect recognizable QRS complexes after application; and (3) display a HR after application.

Method: A prospective observational study in two UK tertiary maternity units was undertaken with 71 newborns including 23 who required resuscitation.

Results: The median (IQR) time for ECG patch application was 8 (6-10) seconds, detection of recognizable QRS complexes 8 (2-12) seconds, and time to output HR was 23 (15-37) seconds.

Conclusion: Pre-set ECG chest electrodes allow rapid HR information at birth without electrode detachment or compromising skin integrity.

Keywords: Electrocardiograms; Heart rate; Neonatology; Resuscitation; Technology.

Publication types

  • News
  • Observational Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Electrocardiography* / methods
  • Electrodes
  • Feasibility Studies
  • Female
  • Heart Rate / physiology
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Monitoring, Physiologic / methods
  • Pregnancy