What are the signs and symptoms of neonatal sepsis?

Updated: Jun 13, 2019
  • Author: Nathan S Gollehon, MD, FAAP; Chief Editor: Muhammad Aslam, MD  more...
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Answer

The clinical signs of neonatal sepsis are nonspecific and are associated with the characteristics of the causative organism and the body’s response to the invasion. These nonspecific clinical signs can also be associated with other neonatal diseases, such as respiratory distress syndrome (RDS), metabolic disorders, intracranial hemorrhage, and a traumatic delivery, making the diagnosis based on physical examination alone difficult.

To obtain the most information from the examination, systematic physical assessment of the infant is best performed in a series that should include observation, auscultation, and palpation, in that order. Changes in findings from one examination to the next provide important information about the presence and evolution of sepsis. [36]


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