Half a decade of neonatal sepsis, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia

Author(s): Haque KN, Chagia AH, Shaheed MM

Abstract

In a retrospective study to determine the pattern of neonatal sepsis, all cases admitted to the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) between October 1983 and July 1988 at King Khalid University Hospital, in Riyadh were studied. During the review period there were a total of 2117 admissions to the NICU. Of those 1252 (59 per cent) underwent septic screening sometimes during their stay in the NICU. The number of babies with proven bacteremia, i.e.; positive blood and or cerebrospinal fluid culture was 190 (15 per cent). Gram-positive organisms were cultured from 132 (69 per cent) and Gram-negative organisms from 47 (25 per cent) of the babies. The single most frequent organism was Staphylococcus epidermidis accounting for 36 per cent (58/190) of all proven cases. These results differ appreciably from other studies reported previously from Riyadh as well as from some other parts of the world, and stress the need to recognize Staphylococcus epidermidis as an increasingly important pathogen in the newborn nursery.

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