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July 1965

Septicemia in Premature Infants: The Characteristics, Treatment, and Prevention of Septicemia in Premature Infants

Author Affiliations

From the Department of Pediatrics, Baltimore City Hospitals and John Hopkins School of Hygiene and Public Health.

Am J Dis Child. 1965;110(1):29-41. doi:10.1001/archpedi.1965.02090030035005

DESPITE recent declines in neonatal mortality rates to less than 20/1,000 total live births and to less than 100/1,000 premature live births in many areas, infections remain a significant cause of neonatal deaths. Serial autopsy data indicate that infections are the primary cause of neonatal death in 10% to 22% of cases.1-6

Bacterial neonatal infection severe enough to result in fatality is frequently associated with septicemia. The reports reviewing neonatal septicemia have dealt primarily with this disease among all neonates,7-11 but the significantly high incidence of prematurity among these patients suggests that babies of low birth weight are particularly susceptible to overwhelming bacterial infection. The present report was designed to elucidate the incidence and significance of septicemia among a population of newborn infants of low birth weight over a sufficiently long time period so that the principal characteristics of the disease could be delineated and the efficacy of

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