Newborns and Hospital-Acquired Infections

    Newborns are particularly vulnerable to acquiring infections in the hospital because of their immature immune system.

    There is a great potential for disaster in encouraging healthy women with normal pregnancies to give birth in hospitals this brings vulnerable babies into an environment that is filled with exotic germs, especially dangerous antibiotic-resistant strains which breed in hospitals.
    Despite regular use of antiseptic cleaning solutions, it is impossible to eliminate bacteria completely from most hospital rooms, even Neonatal Intensive Care Units. Research shows that a single strain of bacteria can remain in the newborn nursery for as long as a decade. These endemic strains of bacteria play a significant role in exposing newborns to staph infections in the hospital. Staph is the most common infection acquired in the hospital, and scientists fear that it is on the verge of conquering all known drugs.

    Hospital-acquired infections are a major problem in newborn intensive-care units. About 25% of newborns hospitalized for 48 hours or more will acquire an infection from the nursery. One-third of infected babies will die; more babies die from infection than any other cause.

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    These web pages were originally composed by Ronnie Falcao, LM MS, in Sept., 1997.
    They have been updated as new information has become available.

    Permission to link to these pages is hereby granted.

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