The aim of this study was to establish the reference values of preductal oxygen saturation (SpO2) in healthy infants immediately after birth. SpO2 recordings of 200 term neonates (vaginal group;n=150 and cesarean group;n=50) with regular respiratory pattern were evaluated. The median SpO2 values in the first, fifth and tenth minutes were 71, 92, and 98% in vaginal deliveries and 70, 79, and 96% in cesarean deliveries, respectively. SpO2 was significantly lower in the cesarean group at any time after the first minute of life (p<0.0001). The time needed to reach a SpO2>90% was three times longer in cesarean deliveries. Healthy neonates are poorly saturated immediately after birth. The duration to reach a SpO2>90% was longer in infants born by cesarean deliveries.
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