Protocol - Respiratory Rate - Infant
For infants (up to 3 years of age), a study staff member listens to breath sounds via a stethoscope lightly placed on the infant’s 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 versus when asleep, studies should be consistent in measuring this variable.
Alternatively, observe the rise and fall of the chest for a complete inspiration and expiration and count for a full 60 seconds.
1) Infants (up 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 infant’s chest.
Alternatively, with fingers near the radial artery, observe respirations. Observe the rise and fall of the chest. After a complete cycle of inspiration and expiration, count for a full 60 seconds.
2) Record results.
Protocol Name from Source:
NA, see source
Personnel and Training Required
Staff trained to count respiratory rates and auscultate breath sounds with a watch
Watch that can measure time in seconds and a stethoscope
|Specialized requirements for biospecimen collection||No|
|Average time of greater than 15 minutes in an unaffected individual||No|
Mode of Administration
Infants up to 3 years of age
This is a standard protocol and is found in nursing guidelines.
|Common Data Elements (CDE)||Person Respiratory Rate Text||2970219||CDE Browser|
Process and Review
The Expert Review Panel #6 (ERP 6) reviewed the measures in the Respiratory domain.
Guidance from ERP 6 includes:
• Replaced protocol
• New Data Dictionary
Back-compatible: there are changes to the Data Dictionary, previous version of the Data Dictionary and Variable mapping in Toolkit archive (link)
Evans-Smith, P. (2005). Taylor’s clinical nursing skills: A nursing process approach. Philadelphia, PA: Lippincott Williams & Wilkins.
Fleming, S., Thompson, M., Stevens, R., Heneghan, C., Pluddemann, A., Maconochie, I., … Mant, D. (2011). Normal ranges of heart rate and respiratory rate in children from birth to 18 years of age: A systematic review of observational studies. Lancet, 377, 1011-1018.
Taylor, C., Lillis, C., LeMone, P., & Le Bon, M. (2005). Skill checklists to accompany fundamentals of nursing: The art and science of nursing care (5th ed.). Philadelphia, PA: Lippincott Williams & Wilkins.
Rusconi, F., Castagneto, M., Gagliardi, L., Leo, G., Pellegatta, A., Porta, N., … Braga, M. (1994). Reference values for respiratory rate in the first 3 years of life. Pediatrics, 94, 350-355.
|Variable Name||Variable ID||Variable Description||Version||dbGaP Mapping|
November 28, 2017
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, breaths per minute, inspiration, expiration, auscultation