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British Journal of Medicine and Medical Research

British Journal of Medicine and Medical Research, ISSN: 2231-0614,Vol.: 4, Issue.: 5 (11-20 February)

 

Original Research Article

 

Pulse Oximetry as a Screening Tool to Detect Hypoxia Associated with Early-onset Sepsis in Asymptomatic Newborns: A Feasibility Study in a Low-income Country

 

 

Elsa M. King1*, Christopher Lieu2, Albion Kasasa3, Andrew K. Ewer1,4 and Shakila Thangaratinam5,6

1School of Medicine and Dentistry, University of Birmingham, UK.
2ELLY (East London and International Women’s Health Appeal), Barts Charity, Barts Health NHS Trust, London, UK.
3Deparment of Paediatrics, Saint Francis Referral Hospital, Ifakara, Tanzania.
4Birmingham Women’s Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust, Birmingham, UK.
5Women’s Health Research Unit, Barts and the London School of Medicine, Queen Mary University of London, London, UK.
6Multidisciplinary Evidence Synthesis Hub (mEsh), Barts and the London School of Medicine, Queen Mary University of London, London, UK.

 

Abstracts

 

Aims: i) To assess the feasibility of using pulse oximetry as a screening tool in low-income countries to detect hypoxemia associated with early-onset sepsis in asymptomatic newborns. ii) To evaluate the acceptability of pulse oximetry screening to mothers and healthcare professionals.
Study Design: Prospective cohort study.
Place and Duration of Study: Saint Francis Referral Hospital, Ifakara, Tanzania between January and March 2013.
Methodology: All eligible asymptomatic newborns of more than 33 weeks gestational age born during the study period were screened on two occasions using pulse oximetry. Newborns with oxygen saturations below predefined thresholds were test positive. We recorded the proportion of eligible newborns screened, time taken for the test and the acceptability of pulse oximetry use to mothers and healthcare professionals. The rates of hypoxaemia and clinical diagnosis of sepsis in asymptomatic newborns were evaluated.
Results: A total of 316 asymptomatic newborns were screened, of which eighteen (5.7%) were classified as test positive. Clinical examination led to the diagnosis of sepsis in 41 newborns (13%), including eight newborns who tested positive with pulse oximetry screening. Mothers (n=50) and healthcare professionals (n=18) were predominantly satisfied with screening.
Conclusion: It is feasible to evaluate the role of pulse oximetry as a screening tool to detect early-onset sepsis in a low-income setting. The test is acceptable to mothers and healthcare professionals. Further studies are needed to assess the accuracy of the test in detecting sepsis in asymptomatic newborns and its clinical impact on neonatal health.

 

Keywords :

Pulse oximetry; neonate/infant/newborn; early-onset neonatal sepsis; screening; low-income countries; pilot.

 

Full Article - PDF    Page 1115-1128    Article Metrics

 

DOI : 10.9734/BJMMR/2014/7221

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