Resting heart rates in infants >5 months?

  1. I got pulled to Peds yesterday evening, and had a six month old baby (was a preemie; born at 34 weeks, so adjusted is about five months) as part of my assignment. The baby had a pretty low heart rate (remember, I'm used to preemies!) that hovered around 100-110. When he was sleeping, though, it dipped down to around 98 or so. I reported it to the oncoming nurse and she said that that was normal for the older babies (our preemies tend to run, more often than not, fairly high...mid 150's, you know...) and nothing to be concerned about. Well, tonight, when I got to work, the night nurse on Peds called up here to ask me if he'd been any lower than that the previous night, because another nurse had reported to HER (another nurse who had been pulled, like I had) that the baby's resting heart rate had been dipping into the low 80's. I told her no, that didn't happen to me, but it got me wondering. Is 80 considered bradycardia in a 5-6 month old infant? I'm working now, and tried googling it, but couldn't find an official word online (just a bunch of links to calculate your ideal resting heart rate, etc.). Anyone?


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  3. by   dawngloves
    Resting(sleeping) HR for 3-24 months is 70-120 according to Whaley and Wong, but I think the top end is a little high. I've had term newborns with a sleeping HR in the low 90's and it ain't no thang.
  4. by   Jolie
    I wouldn't be concerned unless it was consistently below 80.
  5. by   iceNICUnurse
    Sometimes full term Infants go as low as 90 and that is OK so I would not consider 80 in a 5 month old bradycardia.

    (my friend from NICU went to work at the adult ICU and was stressed out to see all the monitors showing HR 60-70, unusual numbers for us!!)

  6. by   Mimi2RN
    We've had newborns with resting HR's in the 80's & 90's. No problems, as long as there is no underlying cardiac problem. Newborns in our nursery are being monitored, and older babies on peds are usually just sleeping soundly.
    I've never heard of a SIDS death while a baby has been in the hospital.

    I had r/o sepsis baby the other night who kept dipping into the 70's, but I think he really is sick. When he's awake he's crabby and not tolerating feedings. I hope he is feeling better when I go back tonight.
  7. by   NICU_Nurse
    Thanks! I was stuck at work with no good way to look that up. ;>)