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South African Journal of Child Health

versão On-line ISSN 1999-7671
versão impressa ISSN 1994-3032


CHINAWA, AT et al. Correlation between pulse oximetry and the clinical profile of children with acute lower respiratory tract infection. S. Afr. j. child health [online]. 2021, vol.15, n.4, pp.198-200. ISSN 1999-7671.

BACKGROUND. Hypoxaemia is a common predictor of mortality and a potent marker of severe illness in children with acute lower respiratory tract infection (ALRTI). OBJECTIVE. To determine the mean oxygen saturation (SpO2) in children with ALRTI and its correlation with selected clinical and anthropometric variables. METHODS. A cross-sectional study of 178 children, aged between 2 months and 5 years, treated in two teaching hospitals in southeast Nigeria. All patients were assessed for ALRTI, focusing on their clinical profile and sociodemographic risk factors. Student's t-test was used to compare means of discrete variables. Pearson correlation was used to express association between discrete variables and multiple regression was used to predict dependent variables. RESULTS. Patients with severe ALRTI had significantly lower oxygen saturation (SpO2=89%) than those with mild disease (SpO2=95%) (p=0.001). A negative correlation was found between oxygen saturation and respiratory rate. Multiple regression analysis showed respiratory rate to be the only variable predicting oxygen saturation in children with ALRTI, with a negative association between the two variables. CONCLUSION. Low oxygen saturation is associated with decreased respiratory rate in children with ALRTI. Oxygen supplementation should always be considered in children with ALRTI, especially those with severe disease.

Palavras-chave : acute lower respiratory infection; pulse oximetry; oxygen saturation.

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