Table 1

Impact of pulse oximetry on diagnosis of acute febrile illness or associated syndromes

StudyStudy designSyndromeIntervention and comparison groupsOutcome measureParticipantsAge rangeSettingCountry (continent)Reported effect
 Madico et al30Prospective cohort studyALRIPO vs WHO algorithm34 vs PO+WHO algorithm vs clinical diagnosis*Independent third-party clinical diagnosis of ALRI made without pulse oximetry269 children with ARI2–60 monthsSingle urban hospital paediatric emergency departmentPeru (South America)125/160 (78.1%) diagnosed in PO group vs 130/160 (81.3%) in WHO algorithm group vs 150/160 (93.8%) in PO+WHO algorithm group
 Tesfaye et al31Parallel cluster-randomised trialPneumoniaPO+IMCI vs
Clinical diagnosis of severe pneumonia1804 children with cough or difficulty breathing <14 days2–59 months24 rural primary health centresEthiopia (Africa)148/928 (15.9%; 95% CI 4.7% to 27.2%) diagnosed in PO+IMCI group vs 34/876 (3.9%; 95% CI 1.2% to 6.6%) in IMCI group, p<0.001
Adjusted OR 5.4 (95% CI 2.0 to 14.3), p=0.001
  • Hypoxaemia was defined as peripheral oxygen saturation (SpO2) <90% unless indicated otherwise.

  • *Hypoxaemia defined as SpO2<96.6%.

  • †Intervention group included a staff training component on the use of pulse oximetry.

  • ALRI, acute lower respiratory tract infection (pneumonic and non-pneumonic); ARI, acute respiratory infection; IMCI, WHO Integrated Management of Childhood Illness guideline 2014; PO, pulse oximetry.