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Pulse oximetry is routinely used to assess children with bronchiolitis because it reliably detects hypoxaemia not suspected on physical examination.1 Though a poor predictor of respiratory distress,1 oxygen saturation measured by pulse oximetry (SpO2) has been associated with a perceived need for hospitalisation.1–3 Infants are obligate nasal breathers.4 In bronchiolitis, bubbly nasopharyngeal secretions may block the nostrils, causing transient decreases in SpO2. To our knowledge, nasal suctioning before SpO2 measurement is not recommended by guidelines on bronchiolitis management1 ,4 and no studies have evaluated this issue. Hence, this study assesses the effect of nasal suctioning on SpO2 levels in infants presenting to the emergency department (ED) with bronchiolitis.
In this observational study, we included 40 infants under 12 months old diagnosed with bronchiolitis1 whose SpO2 level was initially ≤96% and ≥88%. Basal …
Contributors EB had full access to all of the data in the study and takes responsibility for the integrity of the data and the accuracy of the data analysis. Study concept and design: EB. Acquisition, analysis or interpretation of data and drafting of the manuscript: All authors. Statistical analysis: LM and SC.
Competing interests None declared.
Ethics approval Review Board approval no. 3112/AOP, Padova.
Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.