OXYGEN THERAPY IN THE NEWBORN INFANT
The following recommendations will appear in the revision of the manual, Standards and Recommendations for Hospital Care of Newborn Infants, scheduled for publication early in 1971. Because the Committee felt a sense of urgency to provide these recommendations to pediatricians, family physicians, and other health professionals caring for newborn infants, they are being published prior to appearance of the manual. The statement has had extensive review by a large number of experts not on the Committee, and their comments and suggestions have been followed in the preparation of the final draft. It was also reviewed and approved by the Committee on Drugs of the Academy at their meeting in San Francisco October 24, 1970.
When a newborn infant needs extra oxygen, it must be administered with great care because there is a causal relationship between a higher than normal oxygen tension in arterial blood (60 to 100 mm Hg) and retrolental fibroplasia (retinopathy of prematurity). When the normal O2 tension is exceeded, there is an increased risk of retrolental fibroplasia. The upper limit of arterial oxygen tension and its duration which are safe for these infants is not known. It is probable that even concentrations of 40% of inspired oxygen (formerly considered safe) could be dangerous for some infants.
An inspired oxygen concentration of 40% may be insufficient for infants with cardiorespiratory disease to raise the oxygen tension of arterial blood to a normal level. In such instances, an inspired oxygen concentration of 60%, 80%, or higher may be necessary.
- Copyright © 1971 by the American Academy of Pediatrics