An infant with signs of sepsis at birth may have acquired an infection in utero or in delivery. Every effort needs to be made to diagnose the infection and start appropriate therapy when a specific microbial diagnosis is available.
Management of neonatal sepsis
Successful management of neonatal bacterial sepsis includes:
- early diagnosis
- prompt initiation of appropriate antimicrobial therapy and supportive measures.
As with other infectious diseases, one needs to:
- have a knowledge of likely pathogens
- carry out studies of appropriate body fluids to identify the pathogen
- choose safe and effective antimicrobial agents (based on a knowledge of presumed pathogens)
- readjust therapeutic plans when results of cultures are available and the clinical course indicates success or failure of the initial therapy.