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To determine the relationship between medical staff's response time (RT) to oxygen saturation (SpO2 ) below 80% and the associated time from tactile intervention until SpO2 normalisation (CT). Time-lapse video and continuous SpO2 were recorded for six consecutive 24 h periods. Regression analyses of RT and SpO2 in association with postmenstrual age (PMA), weight, infant sex and frequency of intermittent hypoxemia (IH). Five hundred and twelve hypoxemia episodes received tactile intervention in 20 extremely preterm infants (gestational age ≤28 weeks, birthweight <1500 g). Median RT was 20.5 s (IQR 16.63-25.50). RT increased with increased IH frequency (p = 0.023) independently of PMA and weight. SpO2 decreased by 3.7% with every 10 s RT (p = 0.039). Time until SpO2 normalisation was strongly associated with RT (β = 0.58, p = 0.042). The association was amplified by lower PMA (p = 0.043). Female preterm infants experienced longer RT than males (p = 0.027). Because the total length of an IH is the sum of RT and CT, preterm infants with low PMA can reach a critical hypoxemia duration of >60 s, even with short RT. The RT is a critical factor that affects the overall time of IH treatments and the depth of desaturation. The consequences of a prolonged RT are worse for more immature preterm infants. © 2023 The Authors. Acta Paediatrica published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd on behalf of Foundation Acta Paediatrica.


Sven Martin, Benjamin W Ackermann, Ulrich H Thome, Martin Grunwald, Stephanie M Müller. Association of response time and intermittent hypoxemia in extremely preterm infants. Acta paediatrica (Oslo, Norway : 1992). 2023 Jul;112(7):1413-1421

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PMID: 36947098

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