Assessment of Mesenteric Tissue Saturation, Oxygen Saturation, and Heart Rate Pre- and Post-Blood Transfusion in Very Low-Birth-Weight Infants Using Abdominal Site Near-Infrared Spectroscopy

Harriet D Miller, Daleen A Penoyer, Kari Baumann, Ann Diaz, Mary Lou Sole, Susan M Bowles
Advances in Neonatal Care: Official Journal of the National Association of Neonatal Nurses 2017, 17 (5): E3-E9

BACKGROUND: Preterm infants often receive blood transfusions during hospitalization. Although transfusions are intended to enhance oxygen delivery, previous studies found decreases in tissue and mesenteric oxygen saturation during and after blood transfusions without changes in vital signs and hemoglobin oxygen saturation.

PURPOSE: To study the effect of blood transfusions on regional mesenteric tissue oxygen saturation (rSO2), hemoglobin saturation of oxygen (SpO2), and heart rate (HR) in premature infants.

METHOD: A prospective, observational, nonrandomized study using a repeated-measures design was done to evaluate changes in physiologic variables (HR, SpO2, rSO2) before, during, and after a blood transfusion in premature infants.

RESULTS: A convenience sample of 30 infants with a mean gestational age of 25.5 (2.1) weeks was recruited. Repeated-measures analysis of variance found no significant differences in HR (P = .06) and SpO2 (P = .55) over time. However, significant differences occurred in rSO2 over the 3 time periods (P < .001). The rSO2 increased during the transfusion from 40.3% to 41.5%, but decreased to 34.9% in the posttransfusion period. Pairwise comparisons revealed statistically significant mean rSO2 differences between pretransfusion and posttransfusion (P < .001), and during transfusion to posttransfusion (P < .001) periods.

IMPLICATIONS FOR RESEARCH: This study supports previous findings of perfusion changes during blood transfusions in preterm infants.

IMPLICATIONS FOR PRACTICE: Measuring mesenteric tissue oxygenation during blood transfusion in very low-birth-weight infants can potentially add another physiologic parameter to guide further clinical assessment and interventions during transfusions.

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