TableĀ 4

Peripheral cyanosis: inadequate oxygen supply to extremeties

ProblemMechanismPresentation and investigations
InfectionSepsis creates an increased metabolic demand. The infant may be unable to meet the increased oxygen requirements of the tissues leading to peripheral vasoconstriction and cyanosis.In septicaemia, other clinical signs would be evident: tachycardia, hypotension, metabolic acidosis; as well as signs of the underlying infection.
Extremities are cyanotic, cool and pale. The tongue and conjunctiva are pink. Systemic arterial oxygen saturations are normal.
Note that peripheral cyanosis is a not uncommon finding in normal healthy newborns.
ShockInadequate blood flow to essential organs will result in peripheral vasoconstriction. This can cause peripheral cyanosis.
HypothermiaHypothermia causes peripheral vasoconstriction and cyanosis