What are the causes and symptoms of neonatal symptoms

Sepsis is a condition that can affect anyone, but some groups can have a higher risk of contracting sepsis. One such group includes the newborns. Sepsis in babies (also known as neonatal sepsis) can usually occur during the first 90 days of their life. This obviously is because infants have a developing immunity which makes them an easy target for bacterial infections.

How does neonatal sepsis occur?
There are two types of sepsis, i.e., early onset and late onset. Early onset is when the baby contracts the infection within 24 hours of the delivery. This usually happens when the baby is premature. On the other hand, late onset sepsis is when a baby is struck by sepsis in the first month after the birth. Neonatal sepsis occurs due to the following reasons

  • If the mother happens to be infected by bacteria during pregnancy.
  • Broken water, following a delayed delivery, i.e., almost more than one day.
  • Being exposed to individuals or an environment having bacterial infections.

What kind of infections can trigger neonatal sepsis?
Some of the common bacteria, virus or fungus that can lead to sepsis in newborns. Such contamination can also occur if the baby misses some of the crucial vaccinations in the first month. Candida, E. Coli, herpes simplex virus, respiratory syncytial virus, listeria monocytogenes, rubella, Haemophilus influenzae type B, varicella, etc. are certain microbes responsible for activating sepsis in babies.

Sepsis symptoms in babies
It could be quite difficult to track sepsis in your newborn, as they may not project any early sepsis signs in the same way a mature individual would. Therefore, you must keep a close watch on your infant. Here are some common early sepsis symptoms that you should be aware of

  • Drastic changes in the body temperatures.
  • Sluggish or elevated pulse rate.
  • Rejecting breast milk or any other type of food.
  • Not urinating frequently.

Apart from the above mentioned early sepsis symptoms, there are additional symptoms which definitely raise the alarm about the infant’s health. These could include

  • Diarrhea
  • Constantly throwing up
  • Engorged belly
  • Lack of movement, constant fatigue, etc.
  • Seizures
  • A sudden change in the skin color, such as patchy skin or paleness.
  • Irritable mood

If you noticed any of the stated early or severe sepsis symptoms, then you must immediately contact your pediatrician. Your doctor will treat neonatal sepsis with the help of intravenous fluids, antibiotics, oral medications, additional oxygen supply, etc. Depending on the severity the treatment can last for over four weeks.

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