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Nursing assessment during oxygen administration in ventilated preterm infants

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Abstract Aim: 

To document nurses’ opinions about their assessments of oxygen requirements in ventilated preterm infants receiving oxygen supplementation. Methods: 

Survey design with descriptive statistics. The sample consisted of 111 nurses employed in clinical positions in neonatal intensive care units within Norway’s five regional hospitals. The questionnaire included questions about physiological and clinical observations used when assessing oxygen administration in ventilated preterm infants. Results: 

A major finding was the gap between the criteria laid down in professional and research literature, vs the criteria nurses perceived they were using when they assessed the oxygen requirements of preterm infants. The respondents stated that they used oxygen saturation to assess the infants’ oxygen requirements when adjusting oxygen supplementation. Only 17% of the nurses used the oxygen-haemoglobin dissociation curve in their assessments. Those who responded that they used the curve did not use it correctly. Conclusion: 

Assessment of O2 requirement is based on insufficient information and calls for evaluation of local, national as well as international education. Close collaboration between doctors and nurses is essential in planning care for individual patients.

Keywords: Assessment; Hyperoxia; Mechanical Ventilator; Oxygen; Very Low Birth Weight

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: 1: Lovisenberg Deaconal College, Oslo, Norway 2: Department of Nursing Science, Faculty of Medicine, University of Oslo, Oslo, Norway

Publication date: 2011-02-01

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