Decreased oxygen exposure during transportation of newborns

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Abstract

Oxygen is the most common treatment for newborns in need of respiratory support. However, oxygen can cause tissue injury through reactive oxygen species formation, especially in premature infants with reduced antioxidant defences, and may result in short-term and long-term toxic effects in multiple organ systems. Although most hospitals have the capability to tightly control oxygen delivery to hospitalised neonates, in many circumstances, the need is overlooked during infant transport. Lack of awareness of harm or appropriate medical equipment invariably results in excessive oxygen exposure. We developed a quality improvement programme to decrease oxygen exposure to newborns during their transportation, thus improving patient safety and quality of care.

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