Hypoxaemia in hospitalized under-five Nigerian children with pneumonia

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West African College of Physicians and West African College of Surgeons.


BACKGROUND: Hypoxaemia constitutes a possible complication of severe respiratory illness which is often under-reported in developing countries. Therefore, the current study was carried out to determine the prevalence and clinical predictors of hypoxaemia in hospitalized under-five children with pneumonia in Ilorin, Nigeria. METHODS: This is a descriptive cross-sectional study of 200 children aged between two months and five years with pneumonia recruited consecutively. Socio-demographic, clinical and laboratory data were obtained. The pulse oximetry measurement was recorded after a stable reading for at least one minute while the child was breathing room air. Hypoxaemia was defined as an arterial oxygen saturation of less than 90%. Data was analyzed using the SPSS 20.0 software. RESULTS: The male/female ratio was 1.5:1.The prevalence of hypoxaemia in the children with pneumonia was 41.5%.Using a linear regression analysis, the clinical features that were significantly associated with hypoxaemia were restlessness, lower chest wall indrawing, bronchial breath sounds and tender hepatomegaly (p<0.05 each). Restlessness had a sensitivity of 22.9%, specificity of 91.5%, while chest wall indrawing had a sensitivity of 86.7% and specificity of 53.3%. Bronchial breath sound had a sensitivity of 16.9%, a specificity of 95.7% whereas tender hepatomegaly had a sensitivity of 48.2% and specificity of 82.9%. CONCLUSION: There is a high local burden of pneumonia-associated hypoxaemia. Restlessness, chest wall indrawing, bronchial breath sounds and tender hepatomegaly could be useful in detecting pneumonia-related hypoxemia in poorly equipped health facilities.



Hypoxaemia, Pneumonia, Children


Ibraheem, R.M., Johnson, ‘W.B.R. & Abdulkarim, A.A. (2014). Hypoxaemia in hospitalized under-five Nigerian children with pneumonia. West African Journal of Medicine. 33(1); 37-43