Neonatal sepsis is a blood infection that occurs in an infant younger than 90 days old. It can be caused by bacteria (e.g. E. coli) or virus (e.g. herpes virus). Neonatal sepsis can be categorized as early-onset (within 24 hours of birth) and late-onset (after delivery).
In early-onset cases, the infection is passed from the mother to the baby before or during delivery. The following risk factors increase the risk of infection:
- Group B streptococcus infection during pregnancy
- Preterm delivery
- Walter breaking more than 24 hours before birth
- Infection of the placenta tissues and amniotic fluid
In late-onset cases, the infection occurs after delivery. The following risk factors increase the risk of infection:
- Blood vessel catheter that remains in for a long time
- Staying in the hospital for extended periods of time
The immediate treatment for neonatal sepsis is to start the baby on intravenous (IV) antibiotics. Lab tests are performed to confirm and identify the cause of infection. In cases caused by the herpes virus, antiviral medication is administered.
Individuals with neonatal sepsis develop various sequelae later in life. A sequelae is a condition that is the consequence of a previous disease or injury. Neonatal sepsis sequelae results from neonatal sepsis. Infection at birth can lead to damage to the joints and / or growth plates. This results in joint instability and incongruity, as well as limb length discrepancy, limb fatigue, gait abnormalities, and pain.