Blood pressure values in healthy term newborns at a tertiary health facility in Enugu, Nigeria
Background: Blood pressure (BP) is a reflection of hemodynamic variables. It is an important vital sign and indicator of clinical stability. Accurate measurement of this physiological signal is essential for the optimal management of the ill infant. An increase in the awareness of hypertension among neonates has resulted to increased ability to diagnose neonates with the disease.
Objectives: This study aimed to determine BP values in apparently healthy term newborns in the first 48 h of life and evaluate the factors affecting BP at birth.
Methods: Three hundred and ten healthy appropriate for gestational age term newborns were consecutively recruited. BP measurements were determined using the oscillometric technique with the neonate supine after an appropriate size cuff was applied on the right arm. The monitor (Dinamap 8100) is switched on while the cuff inflation and deflation is automatically done by the instrument with subsequent display of the BP values on the screen. BP measurements were taken at age 0–24 h and 25–48 h. Their weight was measured with infant’s weighing scale, and data analyzed with SPSS version 15.
Results: The mean systolic BP (SBP), diastolic and mean arterial BP at 0–24 h were 63.3 ± 5.5 mmHg, 36.8 ± 5.3 mmHg and 46.4 ± 5.2 mmHg respectively. There was a positive correlation between birth weight and SBP at birth. No significant correlation was found between BP and gender, mode of delivery or maternal age.
Conclusion: This study provides current normative BP values that can be used in neonatal Intensive Care Unit.
Key words: Blood pressure, healthy, newborns, term