We report our experience with 199 patients requiring admission with a diagnosis of croup over an 18 month period. The value of using pulse oximetry to monitor these children was critically examined. Twenty-nine patients with clinically significant stridor were monitored for an average of 12 hours. There was poor correlation of clinical status and respiratory rate with hypoxia as shown by the technique, with frequent dips in oxygen saturation being caused by technical problems such as movement artefact. Pulse oximetry is a useful adjunct to the clinical assessment of croup, but cannot be relied upon solely for monitoring these labile patients.
(Accepted December 06 1990)
c1 Mr P. J. Stoney, F.R.C.S., Research Fellow, 31 Norway Avenue, Toronto, Ontario M4L 1P7, Canada.