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Relation between pulse oximetry and clinical score in infants with acute bronchiolitis

Shrikant Shete, Gautam Nagori, Punam Nagori, Muhammed Hamid.

Background: Bronchiolitis is inflammation of the bronchioles, the smallest air passages of the lungs. It is the most common severe viral lower respiratory tract infection of infancy. Clinical diagnosis remains the most important tool for diagnosis. Clinical diagnosis would be supplemented by pulse oximetry but pulse oximetry may not be always available.

Aims & Objective: To study Relation between SPO2 (oxygen saturation) and clinical score in children with acute bronchiolitis patients less than 12 months of age.

Materials and Methods: This was the cross sectional observational study done in paediatric department of Jhalawar medical college, Jhalawar. One hundred and forty two infants were evaluated by the single paediatrician. Modified Tal’s clinical score and SPO2 of the patient were recorded. Bonferroni analysis was used using Graph pad 5 prism software for statistical analysis.

Results: The mean (± SD) SpO2 value was 98.2 ± 1.3% for children with clinical scores of 2–5 (n = 32); 95.2 ± 0.9% for those with scores of 6–7 (n = 84), and 92.3 ± 0.87% for children with scores of 8–10 (n = 26), (P < 0.001 by Bonferroni’s multiple comparison, when all two-way comparisons were done for each pair of results). The clinical score showed a good correlation with SpO2 [ r =−0.734(P < 0.0001)].

Conclusion: We conclude that Modified Tal’s clinical score can be used as a primary tool to confirm severity of hypoxemia in infants with acute bronchiolitis even if pulse oximetry is not available.

Key words: Pulse Oximetry; SPO2; Modified Tal’s Clinical Score

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