Article Text

Download PDFPDF
A respiratory rate of ≥60 breaths per minute had high sensitivity for detecting hypoxia in infants

Statistics from

Request Permissions

If you wish to reuse any or all of this article please use the link below which will take you to the Copyright Clearance Center’s RightsLink service. You will be able to get a quick price and instant permission to reuse the content in many different ways.

 QUESTION: In ill infants <2 months of age, can the respiratory rate be used as an indicator of hypoxia?


Blinded comparison of respiratory rate with oxygen saturation level.


A hospital paediatric emergency service in Chandigarh, India.


200 infants who were <2 months of age (mean age 28 d) and had symptoms of any acute illness. Exclusion criteria were age <24 hours, major congenital malformations, previous admission to hospital, or active cardiopulmonary resuscitation.

Description of test and diagnostic standard

The respiratory rate was counted for 1 minute while observing the infant's chest and abdominal movements when the infant was quiet. If the respiratory rate was ≥50 breaths/minute, the rate was counted again after 30 minutes. The diagnostic standard was the assessment of oxygen saturation, which was measured at the finger or toe with a pulse oximeter (BCI, Waukesha, WI, USA). Hypoxia was defined as an oxygen saturation level ≤90%.

Main outcome measures

Sensitivity and specificity for detecting hypoxia.

Main results

77 infants (39%) had hypoxia. The table shows sensitivities, specificities, and likelihood ratios. The …

View Full Text