Nearly one-third of very premature babies develop late-onset sepsis, a life-threatening infection that occurs more than three days after birth, according to a new study from the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP), in collaboration with the Vermont Oxford Network. The study, published today in Pediatricsalso found that 1 in 2 infants born at 23 weeks or earlier either died and/or contracted the infection.
“Late sepsis is associated with a higher risk of death or, for survivors, technology-dependent chronic illness,” said first author Dustin D. Flannery, DO, MSCE, a neonatologist at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia and an assistant professor. in Pediatrics at the University of Pennsylvania.
The researchers analyzed a large national sample of very preterm infants born at Vermont Oxford Network centers. Infants who died within the first 3 days after birth were excluded from the study. Of the 118,650 infants who participated in the study, 10,501 (8.9%) developed late-onset sepsis.
The researchers identified 34 pathogens that cause late-onset sepsis, the most common being coagulase-negative staphylococci (29%) and Staphylococcus aureus (23%). Infected infants were less likely to survive, and those who did had an increased risk of needing home oxygen, tracheostomy, and gastrectomy. One in 2 babies born at 23 weeks or earlier either died later and/or contracted the infection.
“These findings highlight a current challenge in our field: despite effective, coordinated national prevention efforts, infection rates have declined in recent years,” said Dr. Flannery said. “As life-saving resuscitation increases, we must find innovative ways to improve the prevention of late sepsis to improve outcomes for these patients.”
Dustin D. Flannery et al., Sepsis in very preterm infants, Pediatrics (2022). DOI: 10.1542/peds.2022-058813
Provided by Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia
Quotation: Study shows nearly one-third of extremely premature infants develop sepsis late (2022, November 11) retrieved November 13, 2022 from https://medicalxpress.com/news/2022-11-one-third-extremely-premature-infants -late onset .html
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