May 27, 2022

In today article we will be discussing about Neonatal Sepsis. Neonatal Sepsis is a term that is used to refer to systemic infections that usually affect newborns. This term is used and will usually be documented before any specific illness can be established. Meaning before we have established the exact cause of the presenting symptoms, we have to manage the condition as Neonatal Sepsis.

Epidemiology Of Neonatal Sepsis

Neonatal Sepsis occurs in about 0.5 to 0.8 births per 1000 live births. It is more common in developing countries where the rate might be at 6 to 23 per 1000 live births. The reasons it is higher in developing countries may be due to poor living conditions in some of the countries, or even trouble in reaching health care facilities.

Its more common in neonates born with Low Birth Weight, or those who also have respiratory function at birth or whose mothers may be having any maternal risk factors. Remember that premature infants have a very low immunity, therefore predisposing them to Neonatal Sepsis.

Males are also more prone to getting Neonatal Sepsis as compared to their female counterparts.

Classification Of Neonatal Sepsis

Neonatal Sepsis can be classified into various categories depending on the time of onset. It can be classified as;

  • Early onset Sepsis whose onset is usually between the first to third day. Also remember that it is usually caused by bacterial organisms acquired during the birth process.
  • Late Onset Sepsis. In this case the onset is after the 3rd day and can also be due to bacterial causes. This bacterial infection may be acquired from hospital, which is known as Nosocomial, or it may be community acquired.

Predisposing factors that lead to predispose neonates to getting Neonatal sepsis include, maternal risk factors and neonatal risk factors.

Maternal Risk Factors For Neonatal Sepsis

Some the maternal risk factors include;

  • Chorioamnionitis.

Chorioamnionitis is a condition where the amniotic fluid is infected with bacteria, which can be passes on to the baby during birth.

  • Prolonged or Premature rupture of membranes.
  • Maternal bleeding(Placenta previa, abruptio placentae)
  • toxemia
  • poor maternal nutrition/socioeconomic status
  • intrapartum asphyxia
  • maternal GBS colonization

Fetal Risk Factors For Neonatal Sepsis.

Some of the fetal risk factors include;

  • Prematurity. A premature infant is one who is born before reaching 37 weeks of gestation. These infants are more susceptible to infections because their immunity is not yet well built. That is why it is important that these infant are kept in the Newborn Unit where they can be given specialized care.
  • Gender. It is important to note that more Males are affected than females.
  • twinning
  • developmental or congenital immune defects. Some of these defects can include tetralogy of Fallot, and these infants are susceptible to infections.
  • administration of intramuscular iron
  • Galactosemia
  • Omphalitis
  • low Apgar score = asphyxia
%d bloggers like this: