The impact of targeted oxygen reduction test in preterm infants on reducing the oxygen exposure

Hamza, W., AbdElaal, N., Awad, H., Tawfik, S., Elsayed, Y.* | JNPM 2021;


BACKGROUND:Caring for infants on respiratory support is a challenge in the middle-income countries, applying a protocol of targeted oxygen reduction test (tORT) guided by daily assessment of oxygen histograms is novel and practical approach.

OBJECTIVE:To study the impact of tORT guided by daily assessment of oxygen histograms as a quality improvement project aiming to decrease days on oxygen support, and duration of hospital admission in preterm infants.

STUDY DESIGN:A quality project conducted in neonatal intensive care units (NICU) of two hospitals, from 2017- 2018 (Epochs II). After a period of observation of a cohort of preterm Infants, 2016-2017 (Epoch I). The main aims were to reduce days on oxygen and hospital admission days. All infants in Epoch II underwent daily assessment of oxygen histograms and a trial of oxygen reduction if applicable as per a predefined protocol. Comparison was made between these two Epochs, and the primary outcome was the time to successful discontinuation of oxygen support.

RESULTS:Fifty-nine infants were included; 30 underwent the protocolized tORT (Epoch II) with a median (IQR) of 4 (2–6) tORC per infant. Postanal age at presentation (time of initial tORT assessment was performed at the postnatal age of 8 (5, 13) days. Days on oxygen and total numbers of hospital days were significantly less in Epoch II. Oxygen histograms significantly improved after tORT.

CONCLUSIONS:Applying tORT guided by oxygen histograms may have a significant impact on oxygen exposure and hospitalization days of patients admitted to the NICU.

*Corresponding Author: 

Yasser Elsayed, Section of Neonatology, 665 Williams ave, Women’s Hospital, Winnipeg- Manitoba – Canada. Tel.: +12047878303; Fax: +12047871587; E-mail: