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Aim: To determine the prevalence of hypoxaemia and predictors of signs of hypoxaemia in children with various disease conditions admitted into the CHEW of a tertiary health facility.
Place and Duration: Department of Paediatrics (Children Emergency Ward). Study was done from 1st February to 30th April 2015.
Methods: This was a descriptive cross sectional study of 129 children admitted into the CHEW with various disease conditions. Biodata and clinical examination was done in all patients. Oxygen saturation (SpO2) was determined at admission using pulse oximeter for every sick child admitted. Hypoxaemia was defined as SpO2 less than 90%.
Results: One hundred and twenty nine children were studied. Ages of subjects ranged between 0.08years and 17 years with a mean age of 3.06 ± 3.65 years. The mean age of 3.34 ± 3.97 years for males was higher than 2.70 ± 3.22 years for females. Thirty one (24%) children had hypoxaemia on admission with 20(64.5%) with respiratory diseases. Infants (P=.004) and children with respiratory disease (P=.047) had a significantly higher prevalence of hypoxaemia among the study group.
Chest in drawing was a common feature but grunting had the best positive predictive value of more than 80% but with low sensitivity of 3.
Conclusion: Hypoxaemia is prevalent in children who are ill and need emergency care. Respiratory diseases and infants account for a major proportion of hypoxaemic children seen in emergency wards. Chest in drawing is a common feature from different studies; presence of grunting was highly predictive in this study although had low sensitivity.