What is sepsis in newborns?
Sepsis is a serious medical condition caused by the body's response to an infection. A newborn who has an infection and develops sepsis can have inflammation (swelling) throughout the body, leading to organ failure.
What causes sepsis in newborns?
Bacterial infections are the most common cause of sepsis. Sepsis can also be caused by infections by fungi, parasites, or viruses. The infection can be located in any of a number of places throughout the body.
How do newborns get sepsis?
Newborns can get sepsis in several different ways:
- If the mother has an infection of the amniotic fluid (a condition known as chorioamnionitis)
- Premature birth (baby is born before his/her due date)
- Low birth weight of the infant
- If the mother’s water breaks early (more than 18 hours before the baby is born)
- If the baby is being treated for another condition while still in the hospital
What are some symptoms of infections in newborns?
Symptoms in the newborn include:
- Not feeding well
- Being very sleepy
- Being very irritable
- Rapid breathing
- Vomiting or diarrhea
- Fever (temperature over 100.4 degrees F or over 38.1 degrees C)
- Inability to stay warm -- having a low body temperature despite being clothed and wrapped in blankets
- Unusual behavior
- Pale appearance