Objective To evaluate risk factors, clinic and laboratory data related to septicaemia in neonates in whom infection is suspected.
Methods Retrospective bicentric study from January 2004 to December 2007 of neonates with non-nosocomial infection. Different epidemiological, clinical and laboratory variables were analysed.
Results 227 neonates in whom an infection was suspected were admitted to the unit during this period. The mean gestational age was 37.4 weeks, the mean weight was 2297.94 g and the age at which the symptoms began was 92.5 h of life on average. In 100% of cases a lumbar puncture was done. The blood culture was positive in 14.5% of cases. The microbiological agents more commonly found were Streptococcus agalactiae (33.3%), Gram-negatives bacillus (33.3%) and non-B group streptococcal bacteria (25.5%). Mothers of neonates with septicaemia were more likely to have chorioamnionitis (p<0.01). Hypotension (p<0.01), fever (p<0.05), respiratory distress (p<0.01) and bad peripheral perfusion (p<0.05) occurred more frequently in neonates with septicaemia. Also neonates with positive blood culture had higher levels of C-reactive protein (56.33 vs 35.09 mg/l) (p<0.05). No other differences were found concerning the rest of the variables analysed.
Conclusions The most important risk factor found for the development of bacteraemia in the neonatal period is the presence of maternal chorioamnionitis. Neonates with septicaemia were more likely to be symptomatic and had a higher level of acute phase proteins.