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Introduction: HRV and EKG changes prior to cardiopulmonary events (CPEs) occurring in children in intensive care unit (ICU) settings is not well documented. We assess if substantial losses of HRV and/or other EKG changes, if any, may be detectable prior to a CPE occurring in children admitted to the ICU.

Methods: A prospective observational cohort study was conducted in the ICU from January to February of 2023 at Driscoll Children’s Hospital. A “CPE” was defined as a change in the clinical status of a child warranting a cardiopulmonary intervention. Demographic and clinical data from each patient was collected, along with EKG central monitor tracings prior to a CPE occurring. To assess HRV, R-R intervals will be manually measured, and HRV-specific metrics will be calculated using LabChart Pro software. To asses other EKG parameter changes, other EKG intervals and positions will be recorded. We will compare our obtained data with standard reference HRV and EKG parameter values for age and sex.

Results: 34 children admitted to the pediatric and cardiac ICUs in Driscoll Children’s Hospital during January and February of 2023 were studied, with a total of 128 CPEs. Study population was 17 females (50%) and 17 males (50%). Median (IQR) age was 7.36 (0.86-75.55) months. 27 (79.41%) patients were White/Hispanic. Primary pathologies were mainly cardiac or respiratory in origin (18 (52.94%) cardiac, 9 (26.47%) respiratory). 15 (11.72%) CPEs were primarily cardiac, 113 (88.28%) CPEs were primarily respiratory.

Discussion: EKG tracing measurements remaining ongoing. Results regarding HRV metrics and other EKG parameter analyses are pending.

Academic Level

medical student

Mentor/PI Department


Available for download on Tuesday, February 25, 2025