The oral feeding disorder is one of the important indicators for the high risk group of neurodevelopment delay. The procedure of oral feeding requires the coordination of sucking, swallowing, and breathing activities, and it is the most complex sensorimotor process for newborn infants. Premature infants often uneasily complete the procedure of oral feeding. However, the evaluation of the oral feeding disorders and severity are usually dependent on the subjective clinical experience of the physician. Monitoring the sucking-swallowing-breathing activities directly is difficult for preterm infants. In this study, a wireless monitoring system for oral-feeding evaluation of full term and preterm infants was proposed to objectively and quantitatively evaluate the coordination of suck-swallow-respiration function during oral feeding. Moreover, the ratios of the swallowing and breathing event numbers to the sucking event number were defined to evaluate the coordination of suck-swallow-respiration function during oral feeding. Finally, the system performance was validated and the coordination of suck-swallow-respiration function for full term and preterm infants during oral feeding was also investigated.
IEEE Transactions On Biomedical Circuits And Systems, v.9 n.5, pp.678-685