Evaluating hypoxia during air travel in healthy infants

Khanna, Mansi, Shackleton, Claire, Verheggen, Maureen, Sharp, Mary, Wilson, Andrew C. and Hall, Graham L. (2013) Evaluating hypoxia during air travel in healthy infants. Thorax, 68 12: 1163-1164. doi:10.1136/thoraxjnl-2013-203905

Author Khanna, Mansi
Shackleton, Claire
Verheggen, Maureen
Sharp, Mary
Wilson, Andrew C.
Hall, Graham L.
Title Evaluating hypoxia during air travel in healthy infants
Journal name Thorax   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 0040-6376
Publication date 2013-12-01
Year available 2013
Sub-type Letter to editor, brief commentary or brief communication
DOI 10.1136/thoraxjnl-2013-203905
Volume 68
Issue 12
Start page 1163
End page 1164
Total pages 2
Place of publication London, United Kingdom
Publisher BMJ
Language eng
Formatted abstract
Up to a third of ex-preterm infants flying near term exhibit pulse oxygen saturation (SpO2) of less than 85% during air travel. A hypoxia challenge test (HCT) is recommended to evaluate the requirement for in-flight supplemental O2. The validity of the HCT in healthy, term infants has not been reported. This study aimed to characterise the in-flight hypoxia response and the accuracy of the HCT to predict this response in healthy, term infants in the first year of life. Infants (n=24: (15 male)) underwent a HCT prior to commercial air travel during which parents monitored SpO2. Thirty-two flights were undertaken with six infants completing multiple flights. The median in-flight SpO2 nadir was 87% and significantly lower than the HCT SpO2 nadir (92%: p<0.001). Infants on seven flights recorded SpO2<85% with one infant recording a HCT with a SpO2 less than 85%. There was marked variability in the in-flight SpO2 in the six infants who undertook multiple flights, and for three of these infants, the SpO2 nadir was both above and below 85%. We report that in healthy term infants an in-flight SpO2 below 85% is common and can vary considerably between flights and that the HCT poorly predicts the risk of in-flight hypoxia (SpO2<85%). As it is common for healthy term infants to have SpO2 less than 85% during air travel further research is needed to clarify whether this is an appropriate cut-off in this age group.
Q-Index Code CX
Q-Index Status Provisional Code
Institutional Status UQ

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Letter to editor, brief commentary or brief communication
Collection: School of Medicine Publications
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Citation counts: TR Web of Science Citation Count  Cited 1 times in Thomson Reuters Web of Science Article | Citations
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Created: Tue, 03 Dec 2013, 10:28:59 EST by System User on behalf of Child Health Research Centre