Protocol - Respiratory Rate - Infant Protocol

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For infants (15 days to 3 years of age), a study staff member listens to breath sounds via a stethoscope lightly placed on the infants chest for 60 seconds to count the number of complete respiratory cycles (one inspiration and one expiration). Note that because respiratory rate in infants is significantly different when awake vs. when asleep, studies should be consistent in measuring this variable.

Specific Instructions:



1) Infants (15 days to 3 years) should be calm, either awake (including quietly seated or quietly playing) or asleep (sleep not associated with any spontaneous movement, including no eye movements or vocalizations). Infants: count breath sounds in a complete respiratory cycle for 60 seconds with a stethoscope gently placed on infants chest.

2) Record results.

Protocol Name from Source:


Publicly available

Personnel and Training Required

Staff trained to count respiratory rates and auscultate breath sounds with a watch

Equipment Needs

Watch that can measure time in seconds and a stethoscope

Requirement CategoryRequired
Major equipment No
Major equipment No
Specialized training No
Specialized training No
Specialized requirements for biospecimen collection No
Specialized requirements for biospecimen collection No
Average time of greater than 15 minutes in an unaffected individual No
Average time of greater than 15 minutes in an unaffected individual No
Mode of Administration

Physical Measurement

Life Stage:

Infant, Infant, Toddler, Toddler


Infants ages 15 days to 3 years

Selection Rationale

The infant protocol was used in a study of 618 infants and children (309 healthy, 309 with non-respiratory problems) when awake and calm.


English, English

Common Data Elements (CDE) Person Respiratory Rate Text 2970219 CDE Browser
Logical Observation Identifiers Names and Codes (LOINC) Resp rate infant proto 62632-5 LOINC
Derived Variables


Process and Review

Not applicable.

Rusconi, F., Castagneto, M., Gagliardi, L., Leo, G., Pellegatta, A., Porta, N., Razon, S., & Braga, M. (1994). Reference values for respiratory rate in the first 3 years of life. Pediatrics, 94, 350-355.
General References


Protocol ID:


Export Variables
Variable NameVariable IDVariable DescriptionVersiondbGaP Mapping
PX091401_Date_Of_Measurement PX091401010000 Date of Measurement N/A
PX091401_Infant_Awake PX091401020000 Infant awake N/A
PX091401_Respiratory_Cycles PX091401030000 Number of respiratory cycles in one minute N/A
Measure Name:

Respiratory Rate

Release Date:

January 29, 2010


Respiratory rate is the number of breaths an individual takes within a specific amount of time (frequently given in breaths per minute).


Respiratory rate is a low-burden, quantitative variable that can be used to distinguish individuals with and without various forms of lung disease.


respiratory, lung, respiratory rate, breaths per minute, child, adult, infant, auscultation