Published January 17, 2018
Raines, Wagner and Salinas examine a case study involving intraamniotic infection (IAI) and nurses’ role in caring for a newborn exposed to IAI. When an infection occurs, the fetal inflammatory response is activated and is manifested by umbilical cord inflammation, which may result in the clinical signs and symptoms of sepsis. Newborns have an immature immune system; their immune system’s response to the inflammation impacts the newborn’s organ systems and culminates in early onset sepsis.
The authors conclude that because sepsis usually occurs within the first 24 hours of life, it is imperative to recognize early signs. They provide a series of five questions nurses should ask when expecting a birth with possible IAI in order to provide timely treatment, and emphasize the importance of a comprehensive assessment at birth and assessment and documentation of the subtle changes in the infant’s condition in the first few days of life.
Raines, D. A., Wagner, A., & Salinas, A. (2017). Intraamniotic infection and the term neonate. Neonatal Network, 36(6), 385-387. doi:10.1891/0730-0818.104.22.1685