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.e1704Correspondence
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Received: 02 February 2017
Accepted: 15 May 2017
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