Neonatal sepsis - Overview
Sepsis neonatorum; Neonatal septicemia; Sepsis - infant
Definition of Neonatal sepsis:
Neonatal sepsis is a blood infection that occurs in an infant younger than 90 days old. Early-onset sepsis is seen in the first week of life. Late-onset sepsis occurs between days 8 and 89.
Causes, incidence, and risk factors:
A number of different bacteria, including Escherichia coli (E.coli), Listeria, and certain strains of streptococcus, may cause neonatal sepsis.
Early-onset neonatal sepsis most often appears within 24 hours of birth. The baby gets the infection from the mother before or during delivery. The following increases an infant's risk of early-onset sepsis:
- Group B streptococcus infection during pregnancy
- Preterm delivery
- Water breaking (rupture of membranes) that lasts longer than 24 hours before birth
- Infection of the placenta tissues and amniotic fluid (chorioamnionitis)
Babies with late-onset neonatal sepsis get infected after delivery. The following increase an infant's risk of sepsis after delivery:
- Having a catheter in a blood vessel for a long time
- Staying in the hospital for an extended period of time
- Reviewed last on: 5/9/2011
- Kimberly G Lee, MD, MSc, IBCLC, Associate Professor of Pediatrics, Division of Neonatology, Medical University of South Carolina, Charleston, SC. Review provided by VeriMed Healthcare Network. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, A.D.A.M., Inc.
Verani JR, McGee L, Schrag S. Prevention of Perinatal Group B Streptococcal Disease, Revised Guidelines from CDC, 2010. Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report. 59(RR-10): 1-36, 2010.
Stoll et al . Early onset neonatal sepsis: the burden of group B streptococcal and E. coli disease continues. Pediatrics 2011: 127:817-826.
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