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Korean J Pediatr 2011 September;54(9) :359-362.
Optimal oxygen saturation in premature infants
Meayoung Chang (Chang M)
Department of Pediatrics, Chungnam National University School of Medicine, Daejeon, Korea
Corresponding Author: Meayoung Chang ,Tel: +82-42-280-7253, Fax: +82-42-255-3158, Email:
Copyright © 2011 by The Korean Pediatric Society
There is a delicate balance between too little and too much supplemental oxygen exposure in premature infants. Since underuse and overuse of supplemental oxygen can harm premature infants, oxygen saturation levels must be monitored and kept at less than 95% to prevent reactive oxygen species-related diseases, such as retinopathy of prematurity and bronchopulmonary dysplasia. At the same time, desaturation below 80 to 85% must be avoided to prevent adverse consequences, such as cerebral palsy. It is still unclear what range of oxygen saturation is appropriate for premature infants; however, until the results of further studies are available, a reasonable target for pulse oxygen saturation (SpO2) is 90 to 93% with an intermittent review of the correlation between SpO2 and the partial pressure of arterial oxygen tension (PaO2). Because optimal oxygenation depends on individuals at the bedside making ongoing adjustments, each unit must define an optimal target range and set alarm limits according to their own equipment or conditions. All staff must be aware of these values and adjust the concentration of supplemental oxygen frequently.
Keywords: Premature infant | Oxygen inhalation therapy | Oxygen saturation | Pulse oximetry
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