Oxygen saturation of healthy term neonates during the first 30 minutes of life


Correspondence: Özgül Salihoğlu, MD, Kalamış Fener Caddesi Kalamış Apartmanı, B Blok No: 54, 34726 Kadıköy, Istanbul, Turkey. Email: fbozgulsalih@yahoo.com



The purpose of this study was to document the oxygen saturation (SpO2), general physical signs and laboratory characteristics during the first 30 min of life.


Forty healthy singleton full-term neonates delivered vaginally (n = 33) or by cesarean section (n = 7) were included in this prospective observational study. After delivery, the SpO2 levels of the upper (right hand; ‘preductal’) and lower (dorsum of the right foot; ‘postductal’) extremities of the neonates lying on the servo-controlled radiant heater in the delivery room were measured simultaneously with oximeter probes (Oxiprobe BM-270) placed at 1, 5, 10, 15, 20, 25, and 30 min. The correlation between pre- and postductal SpO2 level and different variables (vital signs, capillary refill time recorded at 1 and 15 min, cord pH and hemoglobin values, and Apgar scores at 1 and 5 min) was examined.


The 1 min pre- and postductal SpO2 were 82.3 ± 7.34% and 79.08 ± 8.16% (P > 0.05), respectively. The preductal values at 5, 10, and 15 min were statistically higher than the postductal values (89.73 ± 6.01%, 93.43 ± 4.06%, and 94.53 ± 3.19% vs 85.53 ± 6.92%, 89.9 ± 4.91%, 92.83 ± 3.92%, respectively). SpO2 was the same regardless of the mode of delivery. No correlations were found between pre- and postductal SpO2 and other variables.


Oxygen saturation was not affected by mode of delivery, was independent of Apgar score, cord hemoglobin, cord pH, vital signs, and capillary refill time in the first few minutes of life, and did not reach 90% in the first 5 min of life in healthy full-term neonates.