Oxygen therapy in children

S Khanum1, MA Haqq2, MR Amin3

The administration of oxygen is the most important
therapeutic manoeuvre in the management of
hypoxaemia and tissue hypoxia.1 Hypoxaemia is
defined when level of O2 in the arterial blood is
reduced whereas hypoxia denotes the condition when
reduced amount of O2 is delivered to tissue.2 When
oxygen saturation <92% at sea level and <88% at
higher altitude hypoxaemia results.1,2,3 Factors
affecting oxygen delivery include adequate
ventilation, pulmonary gas exchange, adequate
cardiac output, haemoglobin level and its
saturation.2 In most of the developing countries
where facilities of blood gas analysis and
measurement of transcutaneous Sao2 by pulse
oximetry are limited, most physicians rely on clinical
signs to identify hypoxemia.3 WHO recommended
few clinical signs to predict hypoxemia include fast
breathing (70 or more), grunting, cyanosis, head
nodding, severe lower chest indrawing.1,3,4
The objective of this review is to discuss about the
different oxygen delivery methods, their benefits &
hazards with monitoring of the patient for desirable

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