Acute life threatening events among infants on home oxygen

Paediatr Nurs. 2006 Feb;18(1):27-9.


Background: Chronic lung disease (CLD) of prematurity is associated with significant morbidity, and infants discharged home in oxygen are particularly vulnerable.

Aim: To assess the incidence of acute life threatening events (ALTEs) during 12-month follow-up of CLD infants discharged home receiving supplemental oxygen.

Method: All infants discharged over a one-year period were studied. Pre-discharge oxygen requirements were set on clinical grounds. Before discharge, oxygen saturations were recorded blind using a data-logger. Infant's oxygen requirements, hospital attendances, and details of ALTEs were recorded over the subsequent year.

Results: Sixteen infants were studied. Median (range): birth-weight 938 grams (448 - 1,638); gestational age 28 weeks (24 - 32); discharge oxygen requirement 0.20 litres/minute (0.05 - 0.50). Eight infants subsequently had one or more ALTEs. Discharge oxygen saturation profiles were significantly lower in these infant when compared to those not having ALTEs (p < 0.05), despite receiving supplementary oxygen.

Conclusions: Before discharge home, formal oxygen saturation studies should be performed in infants receiving supplementary oxygen to ensure optimum oxygen delivery.

MeSH terms

  • Acute Disease
  • Aftercare
  • Birth Weight
  • Blood Gas Analysis
  • Community Health Nursing / organization & administration
  • Critical Illness / epidemiology
  • England / epidemiology
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Gestational Age
  • Health Services Needs and Demand
  • Home Care Services / organization & administration*
  • Humans
  • Hypoxia / epidemiology
  • Hypoxia / etiology*
  • Incidence
  • Infant
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Infant, Premature, Diseases* / therapy
  • Intensive Care Units, Neonatal
  • Lung Diseases / complications*
  • Lung Diseases / therapy
  • Morbidity
  • Nurse Clinicians / organization & administration
  • Nursing Assessment
  • Oxygen Inhalation Therapy* / nursing
  • Oxygen Inhalation Therapy* / statistics & numerical data
  • Patient Discharge
  • Risk Factors