Incidence of Artifacts and Deviating Values in Research Data Obtained from an Anesthesia Information Management System in Children

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Abstract

Background:

Vital parameter data collected in anesthesia information management systems are often used for clinical research. The validity of this type of research is dependent on the number of artifacts.

Methods:

In this prospective observational cohort study, the incidence of artifacts in anesthesia information management system data was investigated in children undergoing anesthesia for noncardiac procedures. Secondary outcomes included the incidence of artifacts among deviating and nondeviating values, among the anesthesia phases, and among different anesthetic techniques.

Results:

We included 136 anesthetics representing 10,236 min of anesthesia time. The incidence of artifacts was 0.5% for heart rate (95% CI: 0.4 to 0.7%), 1.3% for oxygen saturation (1.1 to 1.5%), 7.5% for end-tidal carbon dioxide (6.9 to 8.0%), 5.0% for noninvasive blood pressure (4.0 to 6.0%), and 7.3% for invasive blood pressure (5.9 to 8.8%). The incidence of artifacts among deviating values was 3.1% for heart rate (2.1 to 4.4%), 10.8% for oxygen saturation (7.6 to 14.8%), 14.1% for end-tidal carbon dioxide (13.0 to 15.2%), 14.4% for noninvasive blood pressure (10.3 to 19.4%), and 38.4% for invasive blood pressure (30.3 to 47.1%).

Conclusions:

Not all values in anesthesia information management systems are valid. The incidence of artifacts stored in the present pediatric anesthesia practice was low for heart rate and oxygen saturation, whereas noninvasive and invasive blood pressure and end-tidal carbon dioxide had higher artifact incidences. Deviating values are more often artifacts than values in a normal range, and artifacts are associated with the phase of anesthesia and anesthetic technique. Development of (automatic) data validation systems or solutions to deal with artifacts in data is warranted.

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