Tachypnea and cyanosis are frequently encountered in the neonatal period. The prevalence of respiratory distress in newborns ranges from 2.9% to 7.6%. Cyanosis can result from a range of disorders, including cardiac, metabolic, neurologic, and parenchymal/nonparenchymal pulmonary disorders. In all, 4.3% of newborns may require supplemental oxygen therapy because of cyanosis.    Cyanosis is dependent on the absolute concentration of the reduced hemoglobin and not on the ratio of reduced hemoglobin to oxyhemoglobin. It is visually perceptible when reduced hemoglobin exceeds 3-5 g/dL. Cyanosis is classified into central and peripheral cyanosis. When present throughout the body, including the mucous membranes and tongue, the condition is termed central cyanosis. When limited to the extremities, it is termed peripheral cyanosis or acrocyanosis.
Professor and Chair of Pediatrics
University of California Davis Children’s Hospital
RHS is Associate Editor for Journal of Pediatrics. The University of California has received honoraria for Dr Steinhorn from Scientific Therapeutics Information Inc, through Mallinckrodt.
Dr Robin H. Steinhorn would like to gratefully acknowledge Dr Ponthenkandath Sasidharan, the previous contributor to this monograph.
PS declares that he has no competing interests.
Professor of Pediatrics
Department of Pediatrics
University of Illinois
RB declares that he has no competing interests.
Assistant Professor Pediatrics/Neonatology
Medical College of Wisconsin
UGD declares that she has no competing interests.
Gloucestershire Royal Hospital
RP declares that he has no competing interests.
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