Recognition and nursing management of sepsis in early infancy
Evidence & Practice Previous     Next

Recognition and nursing management of sepsis in early infancy

Mary Fenton-Jones Foundation trainee year 2 in paediatrics, Royal United Hospital, Bath, Somerset, England
Anna Cannon Matron in child health, Yeovil District Hospital, Yeovil, Somerset, England
Siba Prosad Paul Consultant paediatrician, Torbay Hospital, Torquay, Devon, England

Neonatal sepsis describes serious bacterial or viral infections that manifest in the first 28 days of life, causing significant morbidity and mortality. Although most babies with early-onset neonatal sepsis are born and managed in hospital, some are born in the community, or discharged early from postnatal wards. Consequently, emergency department (ED) nurses and other healthcare professionals need to be able to identify and treat these infants effectively to improve long-term outcomes.

This article discusses neonatal sepsis, including causative organisms, types of neonatal sepsis and why neonates are vulnerable to infection. The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence 2012 and 2014 guidance is also discussed in relation to management of neonatal sepsis and a case study is included to illustrate some of the challenges that ED nurses may encounter.

Emergency Nurse. 25, 6, 23-29. doi: 10.7748/en.2017.e1704


Peer review

This article has been subject to external double-blind peer review and checked for plagiarism using automated software

Conflict of interest

None declared

Write for us

For information about writing for RCNi journals, contact

For author guidelines, go to

Received: 02 February 2017

Accepted: 15 May 2017

Want to read more?

Subscribe for unlimited access

Try 1 month’s access for just £1 and get:

Your subscription package includes:
  • Full access to the website and the online archive
  • Bi-monthly digital edition
  • RCNi Portfolio and interactive CPD quizzes
  • RCNi Learning with 200+ evidence-based modules
  • 10 articles a month from any other RCNi journal
RCN student member? Try Nursing Standard Student
Already subscribed? Log in

Alternatively, you can purchase access to this article for the next seven days. Buy now