Management of Newborn Infections During Inpatient Care

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A Do No Harm Technical Brief

Every year, 15 million newborns are born preterm and many are born with life-threatening conditions that require hospitalization. Premature infants are at higher risk of serious infections than infants born at term. Infections account for 14% of the annual 2.5 million newborn deaths, resulting in an estimated 355,000 annual deaths worldwide. Prompt diagnosis of serious bacterial infection and initiation of antibiotics as well as appropriate supportive therapy are critical for newborns, and any delays can worsen outcomes. However, resistance to commonly used antibiotics is emerging and constitutes an important problem worldwide. The impact of antibiotic use on the establishment of a healthy newborn microbiome also poses concerns. Effectively scaled prevention measures and improved diagnostic tools to tailor precise treatment of serious infection are needed. This brief highlights the current evidence-based best practices for the management of newborn infections during inpatient care.

The Every Preemie—SCALE project is pleased to share the Do No Harm Technical Brief Series. This series highlights the safe and effective use of specific inpatient newborn care interventions, with the guiding principle of “Do No Harm”. The briefs are designed to provide stakeholders with evidence-based information regarding safe and effective inpatient care in low-resource settings as an important step to avoid harm and improve health outcomes for newborns. See complete series here. 

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