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Neonatal & Pediatric Sepsis.

   A newborn baby is called a neonate. Neonatal sepsis is sepsis that occurs in an infant from birth up to 90 days of age. It is divided into two categories:


Early onset is sepsis that develops in babies from birth to 7 days old. Late onset is from 8 days to 89 days.

   As with older children and adults, sepsis is caused by an infection, but early onset neonatal sepsis almost always appears within the first 24 hours and the infection is passed to the baby from the mother either while still in the womb or during the delivery.  The major causes of early onset neonatal sepsis are:  mother having Group B streptococcus while pregnant,  preterm (premature) delivery,  ruptured membranes (water breaking) more than 24 hours before the birth of the baby, or an infection in the placenta tissue or amniotic fluid.



 Because the sepsis doesn’t begin as early with late onset sepsis, the baby likely became infected after birth.  There are many ways this can happen, including:  

   exposure to someone who has a contagious illness / infection and  being in the hospital with tubes, such as a catheter.  

   It is important to keep in mind that very young babies have not yet been vaccinated against common childhood diseases and if they become infected with them, they could become very sick.        These include,  

 rubella (German measles), varicella (chicken pox),  and Haemophilus influenzae type b (Hib)



    According to MedLine Plus (NIH National Institutes of Health), the symptoms of neonatal sepsis include:

  body temperature changes,  breathing problems,  diarrhea,  low blood sugar, reduced movements,  reduced sucking, seizures, slow heart rate, swollen belly area, vomiting, yellow skin and whites of the eyes (jaundice)

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