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Is pulse oximetry effective to predict return for care in kids with bronchiolitis?

Bronchiolitis is the most common lower respiratory tract infection among infants, causing wheezing and respiratory distress. In a new article published online by JAMA Pediatrics, Suzanne Schuh, M.D., F.R.C.P.C., of the Hospital for Sick Children, Toronto, Canada, and coauthors examined if there was a difference in unscheduled medical visits within 72 hours of being discharged from the emergency department for infants with bronchiolitis with and without oxygen desaturations during home monitoring of oxygen levels.

The study included 118 infants. The authors report children with and without desaturations had comparable rates of return for care. There also was no difference in unscheduled return medical visits. “Pulse oximetry is not an effective tool to predict subsequent return for care,” the study concludes.

Article: Effect of Oxygen Desaturations on Subsequent Medical Visits in Infants Discharged From the Emergency Department With Bronchiolitis, Tania Principi MD, FRCPC, MSc, Allan L. Coates MD, Patricia C. Parkin MD, FRCPC, Derek Stephens MSc, Zelia DaSilva RT, Suzanne Schuh MD, FRCPC, JAMA Pediatr. doi:10.1001/jamapediatrics.2016.0114, published online 29 February 2016.

The article includes funding/support disclosures. Please see article for additional information, including author contributions and affiliations, etc.

Editorial: Bronchiolitis and Pulse Oximetry, Lalit Bajaj MD, MPH, Joseph J. Zorc MD, MSCE, JAMA Pediatr. doi:10.1001/jamapediatrics.2016.0090, published online 29 February 2016.