Background and Aims Clinical practice concerning oxygen assessment and administration varies between nurses. Ventilator management, pulse oximetry alarm settings and monitoring also varies greatly. Clinicians would benefit from analysis of what they should do to effectively improve the outcomes and avoid hyperventilation and hyperoxia in newborns. The aim of this study was to investigate how nurses documented oxygenation and ventilation in premature and sick newborns on respirator treatment.
Method This was a retrospective study (2010–2011) of the documented oxygen treatment from one NICU in Norway. Based on research literature and clinical practice, variables for oxygen treatment in preterm and sick newborns on respirator were defined. A power analysis resulted in the inclusion of 138 newborns. The diagnoses were defined in four categories classified by ICD –10 (KITH-Health Affairs); immature lungs, lung problems, circulation problems and infection. We estimated the proportion of newborns where oxygen saturation was documented outside the recommended limit of 88–93%.
Results At this time we have the results from 110 cases, constituting documentation from 3904 hours of respirator time. We compared the oxygen saturation, PaCO2 and PaO2 values in relation to disease conditions and oxygen administration in the premature and sick newborns. We will report statistics on these variables.
Conclusions These results will be incorporated in an action research study. Clinicians in the NICU will reflect and evaluate on the results in order to develop best practice in oxygenation and ventilation.