A Unique Electrode Catheter for Continuous Monitoring of Arterial Blood Oxygen Tension in Newborn Infants
Arterial blood oxygen tension (paO2) is frequently determined in the intensive care of newborn infants with lung or heart diseases. Knowledge of paO2 in such patients is imperative because elevation above the normal range of 50–110 mm Hg. may cause damage to the retina of prematurely born infants sufficient to result in permanent blindness. At present the most reliable technique for monitoring paO2 is intermittent and requires periodic removal of arterial blood samples through a catheter which has been passed through an umbilical artery into the aorta. Analysis is done by means of a micro blood gas analyzer which requires 0.4 – 0.6 ml. of blood. A method of continuously monitoring paO2 would permit better control of the oxygen enriched breathing environment and eliminate the need for frequent sampling which might dangerously deplete the blood volume of a small infant. Several investigators have recently described indwelling systems for measuring paO2.(1,3,4) The authors have developed a new technique which makes it possible to modify an ordinary umbilical artery catheter for continuously measuring paO2.(5) This is done by means of a Polarographic electrode embedded within the wall of the catheter.
KeywordsNewborn Infant Umbilical Artery Constant Cross Sectional Area Polarographic Electrode Umbilical Artery Catheter
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