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Title: Vital sign monitoring and data fusion for paediatric triage
Author: Shah, Syed Ahmar
Awarding Body: University of Oxford
Current Institution: University of Oxford
Date of Award: 2012
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Accurate assessment of a child’s health is critical for appropriate allocation of medical resources and timely delivery of healthcare in both primary care (GP consultations) and secondary care (ED consultations). Serious illnesses such as meningitis and pneumonia account for 20% of deaths in childhood and require early recognition and treatment in order to maximize the chances of survival of affected children. Due to time constraints, poorly defined normal ranges, difficulty in achieving accurate readings and the difficulties faced by clinicians in interpreting combinations of vital signs, vital signs are rarely measured in primary care and their utility is limited in emergency departments. This thesis aims to develop a monitoring and data fusion system, to be used in both primary care and emergency department settings during the initial assessment of children suspected of having a serious infection. The proposed system relies on the photoplethysmogram (PPG) which is routinely recorded in different clinical settings with a pulse oximeter using a small finger probe. The most difficult vital sign to measure accurately is respiratory rate which has been found to be predictive of serious infection. An automated method is developed to estimate the respiratory rate from the PPG waveform using both the amplitude modulation caused by changes in thoracic pressure during the respiratory cycle and the phenomenon of respiratory sinus arrhythmia, the heart rate variability associated with respiration. The performance of such automated methods deteriorates when monitoring children as a result of frequent motion artefact. A method is developed that automatically identifies high-quality PPG segments mitigating the effects of motion on the estimation of respiratory rate. In the final part of the thesis, the four vital signs (heart rate, temperature, oxygen saturation and respiratory rate) are combined using a probabilistic framework to provide a novelty score for ranking various diagnostic groups, and predicting the severity of infection in two independent data sets from two different clinical settings.
Supervisor: Tarassenko, Lionel Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Biomedical engineering ; Engineering & allied sciences ; Medical Engineering ; Paediatric Triage ; Pulse Oximeter ; Photoplethysmogram ; Vital Signs ; Physiological Monitoring ; Novelty Detection ; Respiratory Rate ; Breathing Rate