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World Sepsis Day 2019: Sepsis In Infants And Children

Every year on 13 September, the world celebrates World Sepsis Day to unite and fight against the acute infection. Sepsis causes more than a million death worldwide every year. It is poorly known that the disease can be prevented by vaccination, and its early recognition can help reduce the mortality rates.

Sepsis In Infants & Children

A life-threatening condition, sepsis is caused when the body releases chemicals to fight against the infection, but, the immune system overdrives or becomes out of balance in response to the infection causing serious septic shock or multiple organ failure[1] . According to WHO, globally 3 million new babies and 1.2 million children suffer from sepsis every year. Also, 95% of deaths are associated with maternal sepsis, especially in low-income countries.

Sepsis: Causes, Symptoms, Effects, Diagnosis And Treatment

Sepsis is common among children younger than 1, particularly in newborns and young infants. When a baby gets an infection in the first month after he/she is born, it is known as neonatal sepsis [2] . One of the main causes behind sepsis in children is premature birth [3] .

Symptoms Of Sepsis In Infants & Children

The signs of sepsis in infant and children are non-specific. If a parent suspects that their child has some infection that is growing worse, they need to consult a doctor immediately. The signs are as follows:

  • Poor breastfeeding
  • Apnea [4]
  • Listlessness
  • Pale skin
  • Low urine
  • Fever [3]
  • Swelling of the abdomen
  • Low body temperature
  • Vomiting and diarrhoea
  • Seizures [5]
  • Jaundice

Diagnosis Of Sepsis In Infants & Children

To diagnose the cause of infection in children and infants, 'sepsis work-up' is suggested. Itis a series of tests that help find out the type of bacteria and virus responsible. The tests include [1]

  • blood test,
  • spinal fluid test,
  • urine test,
  • ultrasound, and
  • x-ray.

Human Papillomavirus (HPV) Infection: Symptoms, Causes, Risk Factors, Treatment And Prevention

Treatment For Sepsis

Neonatal sepsis is one among the leading cause behind infant deaths. However, with timely treatment, the risk of sepsis in infants and children can be decreased. To treat the condition, firstly, the doctor will suggest antibiotics to fight against the developed infection [6] . Additionally, medications to prevent fluid loss, maintain their normal blood pressure and keep infants calm is suggested.

How To Prevent Sepsis In Infants & Children

Sepsis in infant and children can be prevented by the following steps:

  • Consult a paediatrician for prevention methods for the infection.
  • Practice good hygiene. For eg. apply a bandage on a cut or wound, handwash, etc.
  • Keep an eye on the symptoms of sepsis.
  • If you see infection on your child's body, consult a doctor before it becomes worse.
View Article References
  1. [1] Randolph, A. G., & McCulloh, R. J. (2014). Pediatric sepsis: important considerations for diagnosing and managing severe infections in infants, children, and adolescents. Virulence, 5(1), 179–189. doi:10.4161/viru.27045
  2. [2] Shah, B. A., & Padbury, J. F. (2014). Neonatal sepsis: an old problem with new insights. Virulence, 5(1), 170–178. doi:10.4161/viru.26906
  3. [3] Simonsen, K. A., Anderson-Berry, A. L., Delair, S. F., & Davies, H. D. (2014). Early-onset neonatal sepsis. Clinical microbiology reviews, 27(1), 21–47. doi:10.1128/CMR.00031-13
  4. [4] Lee, H., Rusin, C. G., Lake, D. E., Clark, M. T., Guin, L., Smoot, T. J., … Delos, J. B. (2012). A new algorithm for detecting central apnea in neonates. Physiological measurement, 33(1), 1–17. doi:10.1088/0967-3334/33/1/1
  5. [5] Spagnoli, C., Falsaperla, R., Deolmi, M., Corsello, G., & Pisani, F. (2018). Symptomatic seizures in preterm newborns: a review on clinical features and prognosis. Italian journal of pediatrics, 44(1), 115. doi:10.1186/s13052-018-0573-y
  6. [6] Panigrahi, P., Chandel, D. S., Hansen, N. I., Sharma, N., Kandefer, S., Parida, S., … Chaudhry, R. (2017). Neonatal sepsis in rural India: timing, microbiology and antibiotic resistance in a population-based prospective study in the community setting. Journal of perinatology : official journal of the California Perinatal Association, 37(8), 911–921. doi:10.1038/jp.2017.67
  7. [7] Image source from Apollo Hospitals
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