Sepsis at a neonatal intensive care unit: A four-year retrospective study (1989-1992) Academic Article uri icon


  • During the 4-year period 1989-1992, 18,227 neonates were born at Kaplan Hospital and 614 (3.4%) were admitted to the neonatal intensive care unit. During this period, 120 episodes (6.6/1000 live births) of neonatal sepsis were recorded in 109 neonates (6/1000 live births). The incidence of early-onset sepsis was 19/109 (17%). The main pathogens of early-onset sepsis were S. agalactiae (42%) and E. coli (32%). Seven of the 8 S. agalactiae cases were recorded during 1989-1990. The main pathogens of late-onset sepsis were Klebsiella spp. (31%), coagulase-negative staphylococci (18%) and Candida spp (16%). There were 11 cases (10%) of meningitis, 5 due to Klebsiella spp. The overall fatality rate due to sepsis was 14% (0.8/1000 live births) with an early-onset sepsis death rate of 37%. The mortality from S. agalactiae sepsis was 63%. The main trends recorded during the period of the study were 1) the emergence of S. agalactiae as the main pathogen of early-onset sepsis, followed by a sharp decrease in its incidence during the last part of the study, 2) the emergence of extremely virulent, multi-antibiotic-resistant Klebsiella organisms, and 3) the persistent high incidence of Candida sepsis.

publication date

  • December 1, 1997