Septicaemia among neonates with tetanus

Author(s): Antia-Obong OE, Ekanem EE, Udo JJ, Utsalo SJ

Abstract

In a study of 149 cases of neonatal tetanus (NNT) admitted into the University of Calabar Teaching Hospital, 49 (33 per cent) were also found to have septicaemia. The dominant organisms were coliforms and Staphylococcus aureus. A comparison of the clinical features of the septicaemic and non-septicaemic neonates showed umbilical cord infection to be an indicator of septicaemia. There was no significant difference in the case fatality rates of the two groups of patients and the overall case fatality was low (37 per cent). This is attributable to early diagnosis and treatment of the septicaemia cases. It is suggested that paediatricians should have a high index of suspicion of septicaemia among cases of NNT as a means of reducing case fatality.

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