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Neonatal Infection

Author: Neil Fearn  Bullet  Dated: 12/01/2015

The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) provides national guidance and advice to improve health and social care.

NICE recently (December 2014) updated guidance for healthcare providers on the use of antibiotics to prevent and treat infection in newborn babies (both term and preterm) from birth to 28 days.

New guidelines are to help ensure baby safety both neo and postnatal

Neonatal infection is serious as a newborn's immune system isn’t adequately developed. It can be life-threatening, and accounts for the deaths of 1 in 10 babies during the first month of life.

Prompt antibiotic treatment for neonatal infection can save lives, and this guidance is intended to contribute towards the improvement in care for pregnant women and those babies that are suffering from sepsis to prevent them from dying prematurely.

The NICE guidance includes 6 quality statements to help reduce newborn deaths and improve the treatment of pregnant women and babies who need antibiotics for an infection, including:

  1. 1. Pregnant women whose babies are at risk of neonatal infection should be offered antibiotics as soon as possible during the intrapartum period.
  2. 2. Both pregnant women and newborn babies are given a comprehensive assessment for the risks or indicators of early-onset neonatal infection.
  3. 3. Newborn babies who need antibiotic treatment receive it within 1 hour of the decision to treat.
  4. 4. Newborn babies who start antibiotic treatment for possible early-onset neonatal infection are reassessed at 36 hours.
  5. 5. Parents or carers of newborn babies in whom early-onset neonatal infection has been a concern are given clear information about neonatal infection before discharge.
  6. 6. This is a placeholder for antibiotic treatment for late-onset neonatal infection. This means that no guidance is currently available but that it is an area of care that has been prioritised by the Quality Standards Advisory Committee for evidence-based guidance to be developed in this area.

For further information please check this helpful PDF from the NICE website.

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