Neonatal Sepsis in Haiti

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Infections (including sepsis, meningitis, pneumonia and tetanus) stand as a major contributor to neonatal mortality in Haiti (22%). Infants acquire bacteria that cause neonatal sepsis directly from the mother’s blood, skin or vaginal tract either before or during delivery. Nosocomial and environmental pathogens introduce further risk after delivery. The absence of cohesive medical systems and methods for collecting information limits the available data in countries such as Haiti. This study seeks to add more information on the burden of severe bacterial infections and their etiology in neonates of Haiti. Researchers conducted a secondary retrospective analysis of a de-identified database from the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) at Nos Petit Frères et Soeurs-St. Damien Hospital (NPFS-SDH). Records from 1292 neonates admitted to the NICU at NPFS-SDH in Port-au-Prince Haiti from 2013 to 2015 were reviewed. Sepsis accounted for 708 of 1292 (54.8%) of all admissions to the NICU. Infants admitted for sepsis had a mortality rate of 23% (163 of 708 infants admitted for sepsis). The most common organism cultured was Streptococcus agalactiae, followed by Klebsiella pneumoniae, Pseudomonas aeroginusa, Enterobacter aerogenes, Staphylococcus aureus and Proteus mirabillis. Failure to order or obtain a culture was associated with an increased fatality (odds ratio 2.4) for infants with sepsis. Resistance should be a concern when treating empirically.

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