Simultaneously, when your baby was brought in an excellent bilum, i seemed the fresh new SpO

Simultaneously, when your baby was brought in an excellent bilum, i seemed the fresh new SpO

Further information submitted incorporated beginning history, immunisation condition, age weaning, parents’ puffing habits, discover hearth in home for cooking and you will medical background.

During the time of examination, observations were made to explore factors that might contribute to a lower oxygen saturation apart from high altitude and age. While recording a subject’s SpOdos, the child’s physiological state was not disturbed, and whether the child was sleeping or awake was noted. 2 while in the bilum and noted whether the child was awake or asleep.

Mathematical studies

Data were entered into an Excel V.2016 spreadsheet and transferred into Epi Info V.7 and STATA V.16 for analyses. As the data had a non-normal distribution, medians and IQRs were calculated for all age groups and comparisons. The lower limit of normal for age was taken as the 2.5th centile. Wilcoxon rank-sum test was used to compare SpO2 between those with the characteristic and those without, and associated factors with low SpO2 were further explored by multivariable regression analysis.


Data off 266 college students was indeed analysed. The average many years try 14 days (IQR 4–31 weeks); 124 was female and you can 142 was in fact men. Dining table step 1 suggests characteristics of one’s study population, the potential risk circumstances that have been analyzed and median philosophy out of sufferers established or not confronted by these circumstances.

The median SpO2 was 95 (IQR 93–97), with a normal range of 89%–99% (2.5–97.5 centiles). Median values, IQRs and 2.5th centiles for each age group are summarised in table 2.

The median values for oxygen saturation in younger children was statistically lower than those in the older age groups. Figure 3 shows a scatter graph of SpO2 against months. The significant age gradient extended beyond early and late infancy. For example, children between 1 and 2 years of age had a small but significantly lower SpO2 than children over 2 years of age: 94% (92%–95%) vs 97% (95%–98%) (p<0.0001) (table 2).

Infants asleep (n=35) had a significantly lower SpO2 than those who were awake: 93 (91–96) vs 95 (93–97) (p<0.0001). Infants who were in bilums (n=55) had significantly lower SpO2 than those not in bilums: 93 (92–95) vs 95 (94–97) (p<0.0001).

Details maybe not on the variations in oxygen saturation were the spot regarding beginning, any history of disease on neonatal several months, perhaps the mother or father said a recently available coughing, the fresh child’s immunisation condition, whether or not the baby try formula fed and also the type of household hearth.

In the multivariable analysis, age was the strongest independent factor influencing SpO2; also independently significantly affecting SpO2 were being in a bilum (p=0.011), parents smoking (p=0.011) and whether the infant was asleep (p=0.08) (table 3).


This study established reference ranges for oxygen saturation at 2600 m above sea level in highlands Papua New Guinea and con?rmed they are lower than the general referenced standards at sea level. This has been shown by previous studies.3 10–13 The threshold for giving oxygen recommended by WHO in pneumonia: SpO2 of <90% is appropriate for children over the age of 1 year, but in the 85 children below 6 months in this study living at 2600 m, the observed 2.5th centile for SpO2 was 84%. For reasons explained below it is still appropriate to give oxygen if the SpO2 <90% in unwell children with pneumonia at altitude, but this does overlap with the normal reference range.

The strongest factor influencing SpO2 at this altitude was young age. Infants have lower SpO2 for the following reasons: during the ?rst year of life, some physiological compensations stimulated by low oxygen tension may not yet be developed; infants have comparatively less functional residual capacity than older children; and their smaller airways generate a higher airway resistance.14 In our study, the age gradient extended beyond early infancy; children between 1 and 2 years of age had a small but significantly lower SpO2 than children over 2 years of age . That sleeping was associated with a decrease in mean SpO2 has also been reported in previous studies.2 12 During sleep, there is mildly decreased functional residual capacity; the infant takes more frequent and shallow breaths. This may lead to pulmonary atelectasis, and some ventilation:perfusion mismatching leading to lower SpO2. Periodic breathing and sleep apnoea in young infants has been reported at 2500 and 3200 m above sea level in South America.15 16 High-altitude pulmonary oedema also occurs in children living above 1800 m, related to muscularisation of pulmonary arterioles and arteries and hypertrophy and dilatation of the right ventricle, with subsequent congestive right-sided heart failure.17–19 Children with even mild pulmonary hypertensive changes may have exacerbations if they develop a respiratory infection, and respond well to oxygen. This suggests that even if the apparent normal range of some age groups in the population is below the threshold of SpO2 90% for receiving oxygen, if a child has respiratory distress and an SpO2 of 90% or less, oxygen is likely to be of therapeutic benefit.

About the Author

Leave a Reply