Noninvasive continuous or intermittent blood pressure and heart rate patient monitoring in the ED

Richard M. Nowak, Ayan Sen, Audwin J. Garcia, Heidi Wilkie, James J. Yang, Michael R. Nowak, Michele L. Moyer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

39 Scopus citations


Objective: Continuous invasive blood pressure (BP) and heart rate (HR) monitoring in the emergency department (ED) is valuable in managing critically ill patients. Novel noninvasive finger cuff technology allows this same uninterrupted monitoring for almost any individual. This exploratory study compares ED noninvasive continuous to intermittent measurements of these variables. Methods: A variety of acutely ill ED patients (n = 40) with broad ranges of BP and HR underwent simultaneous monitoring using interval standard automated ED devices and continuous finger cuff technology (Nexfin; Bmeye, Amsterdam, The Netherlands) over a period of 2 hours. At baseline and at 15-minute intervals, simultaneous measurements for BP and HR were recorded and compared. Results: There were 25 men and 15 women enrolled with a mean age of 62.2 years (SD, 12.6). Eighteen had acute dyspnea, 11 with probable stroke syndrome, 3 with suspected sepsis, and 8 with a systolic BP greater than 180 or less than 100 mm Hg. Blood pressure and HR values (n = 344) simultaneously measured by automated ED equipment and the Nexfin finger cuff device were compared. The Pearson correlation coefficients were high, and the Bland-Altman plots showed good agreement between the 2 determinations. Conclusion: Continuous BP and HR monitoring measured by the Nexfin finger cuff device in this trial showed reasonable agreement when compared with the intermittent values obtained by automated ED equipment. However, theoretically, noninvasive and continuous monitoring of the BP and HR might better reflect underlying hemodynamics than these same measurements obtained intermittently and, thus, could be important in patient management. More study is needed to determine the optimal method of monitoring these parameters.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)782-789
Number of pages8
JournalAmerican Journal of Emergency Medicine
Issue number7
StatePublished - Sep 2011

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Emergency Medicine


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