What if the oxygen saturation is 2% to 3% below normal?
The relationship between P o 2 and saturation is not linear but sigmoidal. Although there is little difference in P o 2 between saturations of 99% and 96%, there is a much greater difference in P o 2 between 93% and 90%. Oxygen saturation and respiratory rate are objective measures of pulmonary function available to clinicians in most settings. Saturations below 93% in children with respiratory diseases may identify patients with pulmonary/airway inflammation that puts them at risk for developing respiratory failure. Transient periods of desaturation are common, especially in sleeping children with respiratory illnesses, and usually require no intervention. Consider oxygen therapy and closer monitoring if the desaturation is persistent