Sepsis is a common and potentially devastating occurrence in NICUs. Sepsis is defined as the constellation of findings making up the systemic inflammatory response syndrome plus an infection. Newer studies now suggest that treatment of infants who have nonspecific signs of illness with prolonged antibiotics can lead to serious complications. The complexities of practicing medicine in the NICU sometimes limit our ability to secure a diagnosis of culture proven sepsis. The administration of antibiotics until bacterial infection can be reasonably ruled out should occur concurrently with evaluations of other plausible noninfectious diagnoses.
Culture Negative Sepsis and Systemic Inflammatory Response Syndrome in Neonates
Drs Piantino, Schreiber, Alexander, and Hageman have disclosed no financial relationships relevant to this article. This commentary does contain a discussion of an unapproved/investigative use of a commercial product/device.
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Jessica H. Piantino, Michael D. Schreiber, Kenneth Alexander, Joseph Hageman; Culture Negative Sepsis and Systemic Inflammatory Response Syndrome in Neonates. Neoreviews June 2013; 14 (6): e294–e305. https://doi.org/10.1542/neo.14-6-e294
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