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Neonatology. 2010;97(2):154-62. doi: 10.1159/000239769. Epub 2009 Sep 22.

Impact of oxygen saturation targets and oxygen therapy during the transport of neonates with clinically suspected congenital heart disease.

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1
Acute Care Transport Services, University of Toronto, Toronto, Ont., Canada.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Although guidelines for mechanical ventilation, cardiovascular support and intravenous prostaglandin are well established, there is a lack of consensus regarding SpO(2) targets and safety of oxygen administration during transport of neonates with suspected congenital heart disease (CHD). In many centers, an SpO(2) range of 75-85% is targeted but there is no published evidence of the clinical consequences of this approach.

OBJECTIVE:

To determine the effect of average SpO(2) range and oxygen administration during neonatal transport on clinical markers of cardiovascular instability.

METHODS:

A retrospective study was conducted on neonates with suspected CHD who presented at community hospitals. Based on average SpO(2) during transport, neonates were categorized into three distinct groups: group I (SpO(2) <75%), group II (SpO(2) 75-85%), group III (SpO(2) >85%). The severity and proportion of neonates with hypoxemia, metabolic and lactic acidosis on arrival at level III NICU were compared. A comparison was also made between oxygen requirement and indicators of cardiorespiratory instability.

RESULTS:

Seventy-five neonates were studied and 14 (19%), 38 (50%) and 23 (31%) neonates were allocated to groups I, II and III, respectively. Therapeutic interventions during the transport stabilization process included oxygen (n = 53, 71%), mechanical ventilation (n = 56, 75%) and prostaglandin E1 (n = 63, 84%). The severity or proportion of neonates with hypoxemia, elevated lactate or metabolic acidosis was similar between the groups. Neonates receiving an oxygen requirement of FiO(2) >70% had lower arterial SpO(2) on arrival. A provisional diagnosis of CHD and/or PPHN (p = 0.01) and neonates receiving inotropes (p = 0.005) were independent risk factors for cardiovascular instability.

CONCLUSION:

If congenital heart disease is strongly suspected oxygen should be cautiously weaned to maintain a minimum SpO(2) >75%. Neonates receiving >70% oxygen are at greatest risk of metabolic acidosis or critical hypoxemia and may benefit from expedited transfer to a cardiac center.

PMID:
19776649
DOI:
10.1159/000239769
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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