Maternal, newborn, child and adolescent health

Oxygen therapy for acute respiratory infections in young children in developing countries

World Health Organization

Publication details

Number of pages: 49
Publication date: 1993
Languages: English, French
WHO reference number: ARI/93.28



Hypoxaemia is a major contributor to the child deaths from pneumonia that occur worldwide each year; for a child with pneumonia hypoxaemia increases the risk of death by up to 5 times. Having effective systems for the detection and management of hypoxaemia are vital in reducing mortality from pneumonia. Oxygen therapy is essential to counter hypoxaemia and many a times is the difference between life and death.

Guidelines are needed that ensure the identification of children with hypoxaemia and advice on duration of oxygen therapy. Reliable source of oxygen is also required, whereas the availability of oxygen in hospitals in many developing countries is limited., This document reviews the use of oxygen therapy, oxygen delivery systems and gives guidelines for oxygen administration to children with pneumonia.