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Utilizing Near-Infrared Spectroscopy to Identify Pediatric Trauma Patients Needing Lifesaving Interventions: A Prospective Study. Pediatr Emerg Care 2023 Jan 01;39(1):13-19



Pubmed ID




Scopus ID

2-s2.0-85145242320 (requires institutional sign-in at Scopus site)


OBJECTIVES: The aim of this study was to prospectively investigate the role of near-infrared spectroscopy (NIRS) in identifying pediatric trauma patients who required lifesaving interventions (LSIs).

METHODS: Prospective cohort study of children age 0 to 18 years who activated the trauma team response between August 15, 2017, and February 12, 2019, at a large, urban pediatric emergency department (ED).The relationship between the lowest somatic NIRS saturation and the need for LSIs (based on published consensus definition) was investigated. Categorical variables were analyzed by χ 2 test, and continuous variables were analyzed by Student t test.

RESULTS: A total of 148 pediatric trauma patients had somatic NIRS monitoring and met the inclusion criteria. Overall, 65.5% were male with a mean ± SD age of 10.9 ± 6.0 years. Injuries included 67.6% blunt trauma and 28.4% penetrating trauma with mortality of 3.4% (n = 5). Overall, the median lowest somatic NIRS value was 72% (interquartile range, 58%-88%; range, 15%-95%), and 43.9% of patients had a somatic NIRS value <70%. The median somatic NIRS duration recorded was 11 minutes (interquartile range, 7-17 minutes; range, 1-105 minutes). Overall, 36.5% of patients required a LSI including 53 who required a lifesaving procedure, 17 required blood products, and 17 required vasopressors. Among procedures, requiring a thoracostomy was significant.Pediatric trauma patients with a somatic NIRS value <70% had a significantly increased odds of requiring a LSI (odds ratio, 2.11; 95% confidence interval, 1.07-4.20). Somatic NIRS values <70% had a sensitivity and specificity of 56% and 63%, respectively.

CONCLUSIONS: Pediatric trauma patients with somatic NIRS values <70% within 30 minutes of ED arrival have an increased odds of requiring LSIs. Among LSIs, pediatric trauma patients requiring thoracostomy was significant. The role of NIRS in incrementally improving the identification of critically injured children in the ED and prehospital setting should be evaluated in larger prospective multicenter studies.

Author List

Ashby DW, Balakrishnan B, Gourlay DM, Meyer MT, Nimmer M, Drendel AL


Binod Balakrishnan MBBS Associate Professor in the Pediatrics department at Medical College of Wisconsin
Amy L. Drendel DO Interim Chief, Professor in the Pediatrics department at Medical College of Wisconsin
David M. Gourlay MD Chief, Professor in the Surgery department at Medical College of Wisconsin
Michael T. Meyer MD Chief, Professor in the Pediatrics department at Medical College of Wisconsin

MESH terms used to index this publication - Major topics in bold

Child, Preschool
Infant, Newborn
Prospective Studies
Respiration, Artificial
Sensitivity and Specificity
Spectroscopy, Near-Infrared
Wounds, Nonpenetrating