Tackling deaths acute childhood illness: The need for oxygen monitoring
- Of all the childhood deaths annually, it is estimated that more than 80% are due to an acute illness including: pneumonia, neonatal sepsis, malaria or asphyxia. Many of these children are hypoxic and should receive oxygen therapy.
- Hypoxia – an abnormally low oxygen concentration in the blood – is common in childhood acute illnesses and leads to morbidity or death if poorly treated or untreated.
- Monitoring oxygen is thus essential to newborn infants with respiratory distress, and to children and adults who are critically ill or severely injured, and in general anaesthesia.
- Millions of patients receive too little or too much oxygen each year due to a lack of a suitable monitoring device which increases morbidity and mortality.
- By making pulse oximeters for oxygen monitoring affordable and accessible, children at risk of hypoxia can be identified early and oxygen, as a limited resource, can be appropriate utilized
This device measures the percentage oxygen present in the blood, using a well-established non-invasive method of shining light of different wavelengths through the skin.