Pulse oximetry was used to measure transcutaneous arterial oxygen saturation in infants aged 2 to 11 months prone and supine in quiet sleep. Groups of healthy infants (n = 34), infants with upper respiratory tract infections (n = 13), and infants with generalised moderately severe lower respiratory tract infections (n = 17) were studied. No clinically important differences were demonstrated in any of these groups, although there was a small advantage in the prone position in the group with lower respiratory tract infection. The effect of posture on infants with more severe lower respiratory tract infection and during active sleep has yet to be determined.
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