Table of Contents
ISRN Pediatrics
Volume 2013, Article ID 435976, 6 pages
Research Article

Determinants of Oxygen Therapy in Childhood Pneumonia in a Resource-Constrained Region

1Department of Paediatrics and Child Health, Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife, Osun State, Nigeria
2Medical Research Council, Gambian Unit, Atlantic Boulevard, Fajara, P.O. Box 273, Banjul, Gambia

Received 7 April 2013; Accepted 13 May 2013

Academic Editors: C. Casey, V. M. Di Ciommo, and G. D. Overturf

Copyright © 2013 Bankole Peter Kuti et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Childhood pneumonia is a leading cause of morbidity and mortality among underfives particularly in the resource-constraint part of the world. A high proportion of these deaths are due to lack of oxygen, thereby making oxygen administration a life-saving adjunctive when indicated. However, many primary health centres that manage most of the cases often lack the adequate manpower and facilities to decide which patient should be on oxygen therapy. Therefore, this study aimed to determine factors that predict hypoxaemia at presentation in children with severe pneumonia. Four hundred and twenty children aged from 2 to 59 months (40% infants) with severe pneumonia admitted to a health centre in rural Gambia were assessed at presentation. Eighty-one of them (19.30%) had hypoxaemia (oxygen saturation < 90%). Children aged 2–11 months, with grunting respiration, cyanosis, and head nodding, and those with cardiomegaly on chest radiograph were at higher risk of hypoxaemia ( ). Grunting respiration ( , 95% CI 2.287–7.482) and cyanosis ( , 95% CI 5.248–355.111) were independent predictors of hypoxaemia in childhood pneumonia. We conclude that children that grunt and are centrally cyanosed should be preferentially commenced on oxygen therapy even when there is no facility to confirm hypoxaemia.