May 1973

Phantom Breathing in Monitored Infants

Author Affiliations

From the Department of Pediatrics, University of Cincinnati College of Medicine; the Crosley Memorial Nursery, Cincinnati General Hospital; and the Children's Hospital Research Foundation, Cincinnati.

Am J Dis Child. 1973;125(5):684-685. doi:10.1001/archpedi.1973.04160050038007

Excessive fluctuations of power line voltage can result in defective performance of some commercially available electronic medical monitoring devices.

Transient decreases in electrical outlet voltage were found to explain malfunctioning of apnea monitors which failed to alarm when infants stopped breathing. This report suggests that specifications should be established for performance of monitoring equipment and that electrical outlet voltage should be carefully maintained within known limits in areas in which monitoring of critically ill patients is necessary.