Transcutaneous measurement of carbon dioxide tension during long-distance transport of neonates receiving mechanical ventilation

J Perinatol. 1998 May-Jun;18(3):189-92.


Objective: To determine the efficacy of transcutaneous carbon dioxide tension measurement during high-risk neonatal transport.

Study design: This was a prospective, randomized comparative study. Infants transported from hospitals more than 30 miles away from our center and who required respiratory intervention were enrolled. Alternating transports used a transcutaneous CO2/O2 monitor. Ventilation parameters and end transport blood gas values served as primary endpoints for the study.

Results: Infants with transcutaneous carbon dioxide tension monitoring were more likely to have decreased ventilator peak pressures during transport than neonates not monitored (-1.5 cm H2O vs + 0.6 cm H2O; p = 0.04). Monitored neonates were more likely to arrive at the tertiary center with a more normal pH and a CO2 tension between 35 and 45 mm Hg (4.7 to 6.0 kPa) than nonmonitored infants (p = 0.03 and p = 0.01, respectively). The stabilization times before transport were not significantly prolonged by the use of the transcutaneous monitor.

Conclusions: Transcutaneous monitoring of CO2 tension improves short-term respiratory outcome in neonates receiving mechanical ventilation during transport.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Randomized Controlled Trial

MeSH terms

  • Blood Gas Analysis*
  • Carbon Dioxide / blood*
  • Humans
  • Infant, Newborn / blood*
  • Monitoring, Physiologic / methods*
  • Prospective Studies
  • Respiration, Artificial*
  • Transportation of Patients*


  • Carbon Dioxide