In this section
Ranges for Physiological Variables
Able to talk normally
Some / intermittent
Some limitation of ability to talk
and / or
Marked limitation of ability to talk or unable to talk
Tachypnoea*(at rest - ie not
Normal or mildly increase respiratory rate(normal values by age)
Increased or markedly
respiratory rate as the child tires.
increased work of breathing
Sternomastoid contraction (head bobbing)
Moderate retractions and / or accessory muscle use
Marked increase in
muscle use with prominent
Oxygenation is only of limited utility in
judging severity in many paediatric respiratory conditions. Don't
just focus on the SaO2 monitor. Look at the other signs.
O2 saturations less than 90% (in room air)
Any O2 requirement in croup is classed as severe
Normal or slight
of individual conditions can be found under the specific guideline.
child with severe respiratory distress should involve a senior clinician.
management of severity is beyond the capability of the local health care facility.
For emergency advice and
paediatric or neonatal ICU transfers, call the Paediatric Infant Perinatal
Emergency Retrieval (PIPER) Service: 1300 137 650.
Last Updated January 2019