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Introduction: Up to 20% of patients who come to pediatric emergencies have a temperature rise, which has physiological effects on heart rate, respiratory rate, and blood pressure. The objective of this study was to measure the influence of temperature on oxygen saturation in children with fever living in Quito (2800 masl) treated in a second-level hospital.
Methods: The present observational-crossover study was carried out at the Pablo Arturo Suárez Hospital from July to December 2019. With a nonprobabilistic sample, children with fever were included; age, temperature, heart rate, respiratory rate, blood pressure, and oxygen saturation were recorded on admission and 1 hour after antipyretic treatment. Means are compared with Student’s t test; the association is presented with Spearman's (R) correlation coefficient and odds ratio.
Results: A total of 196 patients were included. There was a decrease in saturation with increasing temperature in younger infants, older infants, and preschool children. This effect does not occur in school children or in preadolescents or adolescents. The cutoff point from which this event occurs is 38.35°C with an OR of 3.33 and an OR of 22 when hyperthermia occurs in the preschool stage. The decrease of -1.26 ± 0.03°C°C increases oxygen saturation by 1.28 ± 0.98%.
Conclusion: Temperature >38.4°C decreases oxygen saturation in preschool children and younger and older infants.
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