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Neonatal Med > Volume 18(2); 2011 > Article
Journal of the Korean Society of Neonatology 2011;18(2):320-327.
DOI: https://doi.org/10.5385/jksn.2011.18.2.320    Published online November 25, 2011.
The Optimal Pulse Oxygen Saturation in Very Low Birth Weight or Very Preterm Infants.
Sunyoung You, Hyejin Kang, Minjung Kim, Mea Young Chang
1Department of Pediatrics, Graduate School of Medicine, Chungnam National University, Daejeon, Korea. mychang@cnuh.co.kr
2Department of Pediatrics, Chungnam National University Hospital, Daejeon, Korea.
To determine the effect of changing practice guidelines designed to avoid hyperoxia or hypoxia in very low birth weight or very preterm infants.
We analyzed a database of <1,500 g birth weight or <32 weeks of gestation infants who were born and admitted to the neonatal intensive care unit of Chungnam National University Hospital from January 2007 to July 2010. First, we defined the relationship between arterial partial pressure of oxygen (PaO2) and pulse oxygen saturation (SpO2). When we evaluated 96 pairs of PaO2 and SpO2 measurements, oxygen saturation was 90-94% at a PaO2 of 43-79 mmHg on the oxyhemoglobin dissociation curve, according to pulse oximetry. Based on this observation, a change in practice was instituted in August 2008 with the objective of avoiding hypoxia and hyperoxia in preterm infants with targeting a SpO2 90-94% (period II). Before the change in practice, high alarms for SpO2 were set at 100% and low alarms at 95% (period I).
Sixty-eight infants the met enrollment criteria and 38 (56%) were born during period II, after the change in SpO2 targets. Demographic characteristics, except gender, were similar between the infants born in both periods. After correcting for the effect of confounding factors, the rates for mortality, severe retinopathy of prematurity, and IVH attended to be lower than those for infants in period II. No difference in the rate of patent ductus arteriosus needed to treat was observed.
A change in the practice guidelines aimed at avoiding low oxygen saturation and hyperoxia did not increase neonatal complication rates and showed promising results, suggesting decreased mortality and improvements in short term morbidity. It is still unclear what range of oxygen saturation is appropriate for very preterm infants but the more careful saturation targeting guideline should be considered to prevent hypoxemic events and hyperoxia.
Key Words: Premature infant; Oxygen; Blood gas analysis; Oximetry; Practice guideline; Mortality; Morbidity


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