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Neonatal Sepsis in very Low Birthweight Infants at the University Hospital of the West Indies

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A retrospective review was conducted on the charts of all very low birthweight (VLBW) infants with culture proven sepsis admitted to the neonatal unit of the University Hospital of the West Indies (UHWI) during the period January 1, 1995 to December 31, 2000. During the study period, 22 VLBW infants were admitted to the neonatal unit with culture proven sepsis, 16 (73%) survived and 6 (27%) died. As birthweight and gestational age increased, outcome improved. There was no difference in survival based on age at presentation. Neonates with early onset disease had a significantly longer mean duration of rupture of membranes than those with late onset disease (p = 0.009) and babies with late onset disease had a significantly lower mean Hb level than those with early onset disease (p = 0.000). Predominant isolates were Klebsiella sp (10, 37%), Streptococcus Group D (4, 15%), Escherichia coli (3, 11%) and Group B Streptococcus (3, 11%). Klebsiella sp accounted for 8/13 (62%) of late onsetinfections. Complications included anaemia, thrombocytopenia, bleeding and multi-organ failure. Strategies aimed at prevention, such as limiting the excessive use of broad-spectrum empiric antibiotics and the periodic review and continuous reinforcement of infection control policies will help decrease the mortality and morbidity associated with nosocomial infection in the VLBW infant.

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e-Published: 10 Jun, 2013
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