I haven’t written an explanation blog for a while. There’s been a bit too much drama report on… however, we’re now in the next stage of waiting before op 4 on Monday so I thought I’d explain about the standard monitors you see on every hospital patient – and in every hospital drama.

So, as per the earlier photo of Dominic’s monitor:

Top Line: Heart rate ❤️ 

These are the 2 ECG leads on either side of his chest.

For Dominic, a nice resting rate is between 110 and 125 beats per minute. Closer to the 110 when he’s asleep.

When they give him the sedatives, it can go to around 90-100 (which freaks me out), and when he’s awake it’s usually around 135-150.

When he was poorly last week, it was regularly sitting in the 160s – getting as high as 200 when he was crying and distressed.

Basically, any number from 100-200 can be ok depending on the situation.

Line 2: O2 Saturation

This should always be high 90s or 100. As a general rule, Dominic doesn’t de-sat, the oxygen content of his blood remains in the high 90s all the time.

This lead is a little light attached by Elastoplast to his foot. Wriggling, sweaty feet, too cold feet, the colour orange (only kidding) all effect the probe and consequently the trace (the wiggly blue line on the monitor). This is the alarm that is forever going off saying that the sats are too low – however… it’s the probe 99% of the time. Dominic is fine.

Good tip- if you’re ever worried about this alarm going off, look at your baby. If he’s a nice happy pink colour and not struggling with breathing it is likely he’s fine. Also, of the wiggly blue line on the monitor is erratic – it’s a guarantee it’s not picking up good information.

Line 3: Respiratory Rate

This is the lead stuck sort of at the bottom of his chest / rib cage.

This is how fast Dominic is breathing. Currently, this is pretty much controlled by the ventilator. This was ridiculously high (60s) when He had bronchiolitis last week and wasn’t ventilated and hadn’t had the reconstruction surgery.

Line 4: CO2 sats

Same as the oxygen one, but just gives an indication of the level of CO2 in the blood. To be honest, sometimes they don’t even bother putting this one up.

Right at the bottom: Blood Pressure

This is a cuff on Dominic’s arm. It takes a BP reading every hour and notes a trend. Currently, Dominic’s is lovely and normal. They’re always worried about this one because of his giant dead kidney that hasn’t shrunk yet – this could cause him to have some really high / abnormal Blood Pressures.

So there you go if you ever wondered!


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