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Correlation between pulse oximetry and the clinical profile of children with acute lower respiratory tract infection

A T Chinawa, B F Chukwu, J M Chinawa, O C Nduagubam, A E Aronu

Abstract


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


Authors' affiliations

A T Chinawa, Department of Community Medicine, Enugu State University Teaching Hospital, Nigeria

B F Chukwu, Department of Paediatrics, College of Medicine, University of Nigeria (Enugu Campus), Nigeria

J M Chinawa, Department of Paediatrics, Enugu State University Teaching Hospital, Nigeria

O C Nduagubam, Department of Paediatrics, Enugu State University Teaching Hospital, Nigeria

A E Aronu, Department of Paediatrics, College of Medicine, University of Nigeria (Enugu Campus), Nigeria

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Cite this article

South African Journal of Child Health 2021;15(4):198.

Article History

Date submitted: 2022-02-01
Date published: 2022-02-01

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