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Intermittent monitoring of stabilized bronchiolitis has similar outcomes to continuous monitoring

A study led by PIRN Chair Dr. Sanjay Mahant published in JAMA Pediatrics on March 1, 2021 found that intermittent (every four hours) pulse oximetry monitoring of infants with bronchiolitis results in similar outcomes to continuous pulse oximetry monitoring.

Given that continuous monitoring does not add value, and that other considerations (e.g. alarm fatigue, parent hospital-to-home transition) also favour less intense monitoring, the study authors suggest that intermittent monitoring should be used routinely in stabilized bronchiolitis.

Bronchiolitis is an acute lower respiratory tract infection and amongst the most common reasons for hospital admission for children in the developed world. It is also among the most cumulatively expensive conditions in paediatric hospital care.

The randomized clinical trial enrolled 229 infants hospitalized with stabilized bronchiolitis with and without supplemental oxygen and with care managed using an oxygen saturation target of 90 per cent. The trial included PIRN community sites, North York General Hospital, Lakeridge Health, Trillium Health Partners, and children’s hospital sites, SickKids, CHEO, and McMaster Children’s Hospital.

The research was funded by Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR) and SickKids Foundation.

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