Respiratory rate routinely inaccurate

In this single center study of ~200 ED patients, respiratory rate was measured by 3 modalities: usual criteria (counting for 15 seconds and multiplying by 4), an electronic harness sensor, or gold standard (counting for 60 seconds). The usual criteria had a sensitivity and specificity of 23% and 99% for tachypnea, while the harness was 91% and 97% respectively. Usual methods of detecting tachypnea will miss a significant majority of patients and should not be relied upon (abstract).

Danielle Scheurer

Dr. Scheurer is a clinical hospitalist and the Medical Director of Quality and Safety at the Medical University of South Carolina in Charleston, South Carolina, and is Assistant Professor of Medicine. She is a graduate of the University of Tennessee College of Medicine, completed her residency at Duke University, and completed her Masters in Clinical Research at the Medical University of South Carolina. She also serves as the Web Editor and Physician Advisor for the Society of Hospital Medicine.

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