Effects of hypoxemia or bradycardia in extremely preterm infants

An analysis of data from the multicenter (25 centers) Canadian Oxygen Trial of over 1000 infants 23 to 27 weeks gestation looked at the association between episodes of hypoxemia (oxygen saturation <80%) or bradycardia (pulse rate <80/min) for 10 seconds or longer, and late death or disability. Hypoxemia occurred for a mean of 0.4 to 14% of the monitored time, and bradycardia from 0.1 – 0.3% of the time. Infants in the highest decile of hypoxemic exposure had an increased risk of late death or disability at 18 months compared to those in the lowest decile (57% vs 37%). This association was significant only for prolonged hypoxemic episodes lasting at least 1 minute. Bradycardia did not alter the prognostic value of hypoxemia.

Association between intermittent hypoxemia or bradycardia and late death or disability. Poets et al, 2015.