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Bacterial sepsis symptoms, treatment and prevention in infants

On Behalf of | Nov 11, 2015 | Child Injury

Photo of Christopher Seleski

Protecting an infant from the hazards of daily life can be a source of anxiety for parents in New York City, and for these people, safeguarding their baby from accidents and illnesses is a natural priority. One potential risk parents should be aware of is bacterial sepsis, which the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports was seventh in the top ten causes of infant death in 2013, affecting 578 babies.

WebMD defines sepsis as a body’s overreaction to a rapidly worsening infection. The primary cause of sepsis is a bacterial infection, and very young babies are among those at the highest risk of death from bacterial sepsis. If a parent notices that an infant has symptoms such as rapid breathing, racing pulse, diarrhea, high or low body temperature or vomiting, it could be an indication of sepsis. However, the symptoms could vary based on where in the body the infection began.

Seeking medical attention promptly is essential, and treatment often includes oxygen, intravenous fluids and antibiotics. Statistics indicate that as many as half of those who are affected by severe sepsis may die. Survivors often have permanent organ damage, since the inflammation can cause blood clotting that prevents the lungs, kidneys or liver from receiving vital nutrients from the blood.

Even a scrape can become the site where bacteria enter the body, so any adult who has responsibility to care for a baby should take extra care to prevent infections. Parents need to enlist the help of anyone who may have frequent contact with their child, such as day care providers and health care providers, to guard against conditions that may lead to bacterial sepsis.


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