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Logo of archdischfnArchives of Disease in Childhood - Fetal & NeonatalVisit this articleSubmit a manuscriptReceive email alertsContact usBMJ
Arch Dis Child Fetal Neonatal Ed. 2007 November; 92(6): F465–F467.
Published online 2007 July 5. doi:  10.1136/adc.2007.120634
PMCID: PMC2675394

Clinical assessment of infant colour at delivery



Use of video recordings of newborn infants to determine: (1) if clinicians agreed whether infants were pink; and (2) the pulse oximeter oxygen saturation (Spo2) at which infants first looked pink.


Selected clips from video recordings of infants taken immediately after delivery were shown to medical and nursing staff. The infants received varying degrees of resuscitation (including none) and were monitored with pulse oximetry. The oximeter readings were obscured to observers but known to the investigators. A timer was visible and the sound was inaudible. The observers were asked to indicate whether each infant was pink at the beginning, became pink during the clip, or was never pink. If adjudged to turn pink during the clip, observers recorded the time this occurred and the corresponding Spo2 was determined.


27 clinicians assessed videos of 20 infants (mean (SD) gestation 31(4) weeks). One infant (5%) was perceived to be pink by all observers. The number of clinicians who thought each of the remaining 19 infants were never pink varied from 1 (4%) to 22 (81%). Observers determined the 10 infants with a maximum Spo2 [gt-or-equal, slanted]95% never pink on 17% (46/270) of occasions. The Spo2 at which individual infants were perceived to turn pink varied from 10% to 100%.


Among clinicians observing the same videos there was disagreement about whether newborn infants looked pink with wide variation in the Spo2 when they were considered to become pink.

Keywords: infant, newborn, resuscitation, colour, pulse oximetry

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