Assessing the tongue colour of newly born infants may help to predict the need for supplemental oxygen in the delivery room

Jennifer Anne Dawson, Asa Ekstrom, C Frisk, Marta Thio, Charles Christopher Roehr, Camille Omar F Kamlin, Susan Donath, Peter G Davis

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8 Citations (Scopus)


AIM: It takes several minutes for infants to become pink after birth. Preductal oxygen saturation (SpO2) measurements are used to guide the delivery of supplemental oxygen to newly born infants, but pulse oximetry is not available in many parts of the world. We explored whether the pinkness of an infant s tongue provided a useful indication that supplemental oxygen was required. METHODS: This was a prospective observational study of infants delivered by Caesarean section. Simultaneous recording of SpO2 and visual assessment of whether the tongue was pink or not was made at 1-7 and 10 min after birth. RESULTS: The 38 midwives and seven paediatric trainees carried out 271 paired assessments on 68 infants with a mean (SD) birthweight of 3214 (545) grams and gestational age of 38 (2) weeks. When the infant did not have a pink tongue, this predicted SpO2 of
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)356 - 359
Number of pages4
JournalActa Paediatrica
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2015

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