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Observational study of two oxygen saturation targets for discharge in bronchiolitis


Objectives To assess the potential effect of two guideline discharge oxygen saturation (SpO2) recommendations (≥90% and ≥94%) in recovering bronchiolitis.

Methods and patients Infants aged up to 18 months requiring therapeutic oxygen for SpO2 (≤93%) had SpO2 assessed in air every 2 h. Time from admission to re-establish feeding (>75% normal) and for SpO2 to become stable for at least 4 h at ≥90% and ≥94% were noted.

Results 68 infants, median age 14 weeks, were included. Feeding problems resolved at a median of 11 h (inter-quartile range, IQR 0–47). SpO2 became stable for at least 4 h at 17 h (IQR 0–49) for ≥90% and 63 h (IQR 34–105) for ≥94%. Time for infants to achieve a stable SpO2≥90% and resolve feeding difficulties was a median of 22 h (IQR 7–39 h) sooner than the equivalent for stable SpO2≥94%.

Conclusions Accepting lower SpO2 at discharge could significantly reduce length of stay, but require the clinical and safety effects to be studied.

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