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Low blood oxygen level on infant
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Low blood oxygen level on infant

My daughter is 7 days old. She was delivered via C-Section. We were discharged from hospital normally. We had to go to hospital a day later due to a low body temperature. (the rectal temp was 96 two times). However, after coming to hospital the temp went to normal (above 98 below 99.8). But they discovered that she has low blood oxygen level - when she is deep asleep.

The oxygen level goes down to 87 - 88 and stays there for sometime (around 1 minute or more) when she is in deep sleep. Sometimes she reacts by taking deep breath or moving and brings back the O2 Level back above 90. She is being given 0.1 Oxygen via a tube, and with that small amount of Oxygen she is having her O2 level above 90 even in deep sleep.  

She has no problems other than the number displayed on the monitor for low O2 level. She is alert, feeds well, gained weight and crossed her birth weight (6 pounds 1 ounce), cries normally. The pulmonology specialist did not notice any breathing problems but still not sure what the root cause of the low O2 level is.

No body is able to determine the root cause of this low O2 level. Can you please review this and the tests conducted (below) and give any hints or suggestions?

I would really appreciate and will be grateful for the advice.

The following were the tests conducted and their results.

1) CT Scan [Result: Normal]
2) Echo Cardiogra [Result: Normal]
3) Upper GI test [Result: Gastro reflux]
4) CO2 (electrolyte test) on blood [Result: Normal]
5) Blood count [Result: Normal]
6) Chest X-Ray [Result: Normal]
7) Spinal fluid, urine, blood culture [Result: Normal, but was given antibiotics for 48 hrs till the result came back negative]
7 Comments Post a Comment
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Avatar_m_tn
You will notice that only one nostril is working sometimes and the other nostril is blocked. The body will turn to start to breathe from the other nostril. Help to turn the body to the other side when you notice the O2 level dropping. Most times the body will turn by itself. Just help to keep the nostrils unblocked.
April 26 ,2012
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Avatar_m_tn
Thank you for your suggestion. We got discharged from hospital, apparently doctors think the low oxygen level is due to reflux. So we are giving Zantac to manage it. We got the sleep apnea monitor and the pulse oximeter at home. We never had any alarm on the apnea monitor. But the pulse oximeter shows saturation at 86-90 while the baby is in deep sleep. Doctors are also saying she will outgrow this soon.
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Avatar_dr_f_tn
Hello and hope you are doing well.

Understand your predicament. Good to see she is doing well. But most of her tests are normal other than the gastro reflux. Sometimes this drop in oxygen saturation could be due to central sleep apneas. Discuss this with your consulting doctor.

Hope this helped and do keep us posted.
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Avatar_f_tn
I am going through the exact same thing with my son. He is now 9 weeks old and still having this issue. What was determined with your daughter? Is she still on oxygen? Did they find a cause / cure?
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Avatar_m_tn
I understand your situation as I was in the same place before. My daughter has completely outgrown it after couple of months. The issue was the oxygen level was dropping when she was in deep sleep and if we reposition her it was ok. We did the sleep study and confirmed it, and also had the apnea monitor and pulse oximeter. She did not need oxygen support as long as we reposition her when the monitor alerted. After couple of months the monitor showed good improvement and she outgrew the condition. We had gone to pediatricians, pulmonologist and also consulted genetic and neuro related doctors (I don't know the exact term for those specialities).

The doctors believe it was due to reflux and we continued Zantac even till date. She is absolutely fine and we are so happy now. You don't worry you son will outgrow this condition, just keep monitoring closely and keep consulting your doctor. Don't ever hesitate to ask any question to your doctor, even if it sounds silly.

I hope the best for you and family and I am sure he will get better very soon. Keep consulting your doctor.
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Avatar_f_tn
Thanks so much for the info, I think it might point is in the right direction (regarding the reflux). My sons oxygen numbers have been improving each month, but still dip lower when in deep sleep, so I will investigate with my doctor about reflux. Thanks again!
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Avatar_f_tn
I have a grandson in nicu who's oxygen level drops occasionally. We want the hospital to send him home with a pulse oximeter and they say it isn't necessary and that they are hard to come by. Any suggestions on where we can rent/purchase one?
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