Percentiles of oxygen saturations in healthy term newborns in the first minutes of life

Eur J Pediatr. 2008 Jun;167(6):687-8. doi: 10.1007/s00431-007-0540-x. Epub 2007 Jul 20.


The aim of this study was to establish the reference values of preductal oxygen saturation (SpO2) in healthy infants immediately after birth. SpO2 recordings of 200 term neonates (vaginal group;n=150 and cesarean group;n=50) with regular respiratory pattern were evaluated. The median SpO2 values in the first, fifth and tenth minutes were 71, 92, and 98% in vaginal deliveries and 70, 79, and 96% in cesarean deliveries, respectively. SpO2 was significantly lower in the cesarean group at any time after the first minute of life (p<0.0001). The time needed to reach a SpO2>90% was three times longer in cesarean deliveries. Healthy neonates are poorly saturated immediately after birth. The duration to reach a SpO2>90% was longer in infants born by cesarean deliveries.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Apgar Score
  • Birth Weight
  • Delivery, Obstetric
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Infant, Newborn / blood*
  • Male
  • Oximetry
  • Oxygen / blood*
  • Pregnancy
  • Prospective Studies
  • Reference Values
  • Time Factors


  • Oxygen