Aims The aim of this study was to ascertain the prevalence of high and low WBC count on admission among the cases of probable and culture proven neonatal sepsis, and its affect on mortality rate.
Methods WBC count (by Madonic CA 620 analyzer) of all patients admitted in NICU, Fazl-e-Omar Hospital, Rabwah with provisional diagnosis of neonatal sepsis were recorded. Cases of culture proven sepsis, or probable sepsis were included in this study and were treated with appropriate antibiotics.
Results 469 neonates were included in this study. 136(29%) cases were having culture proven sepsis and 333(71%) were cases of probable sepsis. 315(67.2%) were early onset and 154(22.8%) were late onset sepsis. 363(77.4%) cases were discharged, 38(8.1%) left against medical advice, and 68(14.5%) died. Mean WBC count of all the cases in this study was 19.756, median was 17.20, and standard deviation was 10.883. Mean WBC count in early onset and late onset cases was 20.92 and 17.36 respectively (p=0.006). Mean WBC count in probable sepsis and culture proven sepsis was 19.99 and 19.16 respectively (p=0.435). 333 had normal WBC count (5000–30000) and in these 41(12.4%) died. Among 81 cases with WBC count >30000, 18(23%) died. And in 17 patients with WBC count < 5000, 9(53%) died. (p<0.001).
Conclusions Majority of cases of neonatal sepsis have normal WBC count. Those with leucopenia suffer highest mortality, followed by those with high WBC count as compared with those with normal WBC count. Cases of early onset have higher WBC count.