Document Detail

Giving small babies oxygen: 50 years of uncertainty.
MedLine Citation:
PMID:  12464498     Owner:  NLM     Status:  MEDLINE    
A small landmark trial in 1952 showed that excess oxygen use might well be causing a major epidemic of retinal blindness in preterm babies. That a single study of just 65 babies was enough to throw doubt on a long-standing treatment strategy revealed just how powerful a tool the randomized controlled trial could be. Confirmatory evidence from a cooperative trial involving a further 212 babies banished all residual doubt just 4 years later, and it remains a major reproach that we have still not learnt, after 50 years, how to optimize the delivery of oxygen to the preterm baby with further help from this powerful tool. Two well-conducted trials have recently shown that avoiding subclinical hypoxaemia (fractional SaO(2)<92%) in babies more than a month old does nothing to improve later growth or development. It is now time the same question was asked of babies less than a month old, because we might reduce their need for ventilatory support. This is particularly important in babies of less than 28 weeks' gestation, who remain, currently, at serious risk of chronic lung disease and permanent retinal scarring.
Win Tin; Unni Wariyar
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Publication Detail:
Type:  Journal Article; Review    
Journal Detail:
Title:  Seminars in neonatology : SN     Volume:  7     ISSN:  1084-2756     ISO Abbreviation:  Semin Neonatol     Publication Date:  2002 Oct 
Date Detail:
Created Date:  2002-12-04     Completed Date:  2003-03-20     Revised Date:  2007-11-15    
Medline Journal Info:
Nlm Unique ID:  9606001     Medline TA:  Semin Neonatol     Country:  England    
Other Details:
Languages:  eng     Pagination:  361-7     Citation Subset:  IM    
Department of Paediatrics, The James Cook University Hospital, Middlesbrough TS4 3BW, UK.
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MeSH Terms
Evidence-Based Medicine
Infant, Newborn
Infant, Premature
Infant, Small for Gestational Age
Oxygen / administration & dosage,  adverse effects*
Oxygen Inhalation Therapy / adverse effects*
Randomized Controlled Trials as Topic / standards
Respiration, Artificial / adverse effects*,  methods
Respiratory Distress Syndrome, Newborn / therapy*
Retinopathy of Prematurity / etiology*,  prevention & control
Time Factors
United States
Reg. No./Substance:

From MEDLINE®/PubMed®, a database of the U.S. National Library of Medicine

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