How to Diagnose Neonatal Sepsis? Is It AS Dangerous As Leukemia?
Being an invasive infection, neonatal sepsis affects the child’s health during the first three months. It is a bacterial infection that causes temperature instability, apnea, bradycardia, respiratory distress, diarrhea, vomiting, and several other health issues.
You need an expert pediatric doctor’s support to diagnose the issue and treat it quickly. Neonatal sepsis can be an unknown health issue for many parents. Continue reading to learn more about this health condition. Thus, you can proactively provide early treatment to your child if he shows any sign of infantile sepsis.
What Are the Symptoms of Neonatal Sepsis?
Newborn babies require proper care because their immune system is not fully prepared to fight germs. Your first goal should be protecting the child against neonatal sepsis to keep him healthy. Therefore, you should carefully observe the child for the early symptoms of neonatal sepsis.
Early symptoms can be atypical in some cases, especially if you have a premature baby. The following symptoms indicate the child is suffering from a more serious health issue.
1. Unstable body temperature
This neonatal infection causes changes in the child’s body temperature. Most newborn children suffer from fever. The doctor will diagnose rapid changes in the child’s body temperature and it indicates infantile sepsis.
2. Reduced milk intake
The newborn child reduces or stops breastfeeding because of weakness. He will consume very little food and it can make the baby’s health worse. Therefore, a quick diagnosis and treatment are required for quick recovery.
The baby might look sleepy most of the time. It can be due to neonatal sepsis if the child’s behavior changed recently. He may not fall asleep, but he will also not look quite active on the bed.
Yes, newborn children experience restlessness when they are suffering from infantile sepsis. You can observe it by changes in the child’s mood. He will appear upset and tense most of the time.
Health babies move their arms and legs frequently when they are awake. It is natural for them and this activity increases as the baby get older. If your child is younger than 3 months and suddenly looking calm and stressed, it’s a sign of neonatal sepsis.
6. Pale, blue, or yellow skin
Effects of this health condition will also be visible on your newborn child’s skin. His skin may turn pale, yellow, or blue due to the underlying health condition.
7. Vomiting and diarrhea
You will spot the changes in the child’s stool color and texture whenever he has a health condition. Most children suffer from diarrhea when infantile sepsis affects their health. The child may also vomit and poop a lot due to this health condition.
8. Breathing problems
Your child will breathe fast or take longer gaps when suffering from neonatal sepsis. Problems with breathing indicate that the child has developed a serious health issue. Parents should not ignore this sign to ensure the safety of the baby.
Why Does Your Child Show These Symptoms In Case Of Infantile Sepsis?
Bacteria attack the child and weaken his immune system. His body temperature starts reducing and increasing due to sepsis. Skin rashes may emerge and the child may experience inflammation. A weakened immune system can’t protect the child against day-to-day health problems caused by germs. Therefore, the baby shows all the listed symptoms of infantile sepsis.
This health issue affects the child during the first 90 days of his life. It is a period when your baby requires complete attention. Observe the symptoms and take your child to the hospital for further checkup. The doctor will diagnose the health issue and provide a perfect cure to reduce its adverse effects.
What Does Cause Neonatal Sepsis?
Bacterial infection is mainly responsible for neonatal sepsis. Listeria, Escherichia Coli or E. Coli, and some streptococcus strains are considered responsible for this health issue. Thousands of children used to suffer from infantile sepsis due to Group B streptococcus of GBS.
Now, it has turned out to be a less common cause of this health issue. The mother’s screening during the pregnancy period plays a crucial role in preventing it. Some newborn babies show symptoms of severe infection due to the herpes simplex virus. It can pass to the child through a newly infected mother.
Early-onset infantile sepsis causes
If the baby gets infected within 24-48 hours of birth, it is called early-onset infantile sepsis. The child gets infected from the mother in most cases at the time of birth. The risks of this disease further increase in the following conditions:
- Preterm delivery
- GBS colonization at the time of birth
- Rupture of the membrane which occurred 18 hours or longer before the child’s birth
- Placenta tissue infection
Late-onset infantile sepsis causes
Bacteria from the healthcare environment are considered responsible for late-onset infantile sepsis. Bacterial infection occurs several days after delivery. Its risks further increase in the following conditions:
- Putting catheter in blood vessels for a long time
- This health condition can also occur due to prolonged stay in the hospital.
- The risks of late-onset neonatal sepsis will reduce significantly if you nurse the child in a clean environment.
How to Diagnose Infantile Sepsis?
Blood circulation is quite essential to maintain the smooth functioning of our body. A person will fall sick if blood circulation is affected or germs enter your bloodstream. Neonatal sepsis occurs when the child’s immune system gets weakened.
Bacteria enter into the child’s body through the blood and cause infection in several organs. The child gets weaker due to sepsis infection. It is important to diagnose this health issue as soon as possible. Thus, you can prevent severer health problems in your child.
Diagnosing infantile sepsis
The baby’s temperature will start changing and he may feel cold. It is the first symptom of neonatal sepsis. Fever will get severer and it may soon cause malnutrition. The baby will not consume enough milk to soothe his hunger due to weakness. The doctor will ask for these signs and you should share all the details clearly with the doctor.
Hence sepsis is a bacterial infection, its effects will affect all the acidities of the child. The bacteria will grow and spread rapidly across the child’s body through blood. Therefore, symptoms can get worse. The doctor will take the following tests to diagnose the disease:
- Urine test
- Blood test
- Respiratory secretion screening
- Lumbar puncture to test the fluid around spinal cord and brain
The doctor may admit the baby to the hospital until the test results are available. Proper treatment will begin when the test results reveal infantile sepsis infection.
Is Neonatal Sepsis A Curable Disease?
Parents get extremely worried when the newborn child has a painful health condition. Neonatal sepsis is a painful and discomforting condition that weakens the child. It affects the child’s health during the first three months of his life. It is the time when breastfeeding baby’s immune system is quite weak and his vital organs are still developing.
Is neonatal sepsis as dangerous as leukemia?
Sepsis is not as dangerous as leukemia. However, it can be quite dangerous for the child’s health if not treated in time. Bacteria and viruses which infect the child can multiply rapidly. These germs will spread with blood and weaken the child’s immune system.
Mucous membranes in newborn children are quite fragile. Therefore, babies up to 3 months old suffer from sepsis. It is a curable disease and doctors use antibiotic drugs to treat this disease.
How the neonatal sepsis treatment is carried out?
When blood test and urine test results are available, the doctor will assess the child’s current health condition. They will provide the child with antibiotics drugs, IV fluids, and oxygen support to treat the problem.
All the pediatric doctors follow a similar routine to treat sepsis. The course of treatment can alter depending on the severity of the health condition.
How to Prevent Neonatal Sepsis?
Infantile sepsis is a preventable disease. It requires better parental care to keep the child safe. A newborn child completely relies on his mother for food and other needs. Therefore, the mother must ensure no bacteria pass to the child through her body.
Neonatal sepsis causing bacteria can transmit to the baby during pregnancy or after birth. Therefore, the mother must maintain proper hygiene and there must be a clean environment in the house. Proper hygiene will ensure the quick recovery of the mother and the child. The chances of infectious disease will be quite low and both mother and the child will be healthy.
Neonatal sepsis can affect any newborn child’s life. Germs and bacteria won’t leave any chance of affecting your child’s good health. Therefore, you should live in a perfectly cleaned house during pregnancy and after delivery.
Breastfeed the baby regularly on-demand to strengthen his immune system. Start feeding on the day your child is born. It will provide him with vital antibodies to fight germs and infectious diseases. That’s how you can protect your baby against infantile sepsis.