Advertisement

What is sepsis in children?

Sepsis in children is similar to sepsis in adults. It generally occurs due to bacteria, viruses, fungi, or parasites (or their substances), that become toxic in the bloodstream. Sepsis occurs when the inflammatory response the body produces against these infections takes over the entire body. This response can be mild to severe, and can lead to actual "septic shock". Septic shock occurs when there is not enough oxygen to vital organs and these organs begin to fail. 

Generalized sepsis symptoms in infants and children include a temperature greater than 100.5F degrees or less than 96.8F degrees, increased heart rate, increased work of breathing, lethargy and/or confusion. These symptoms require immediate medical attention. Other symptoms may include poor appetite and a decrease in urine output (wet diapers). In the newly born, any appearance of a fever requires immediate medical attention. 

Risk factors for pediatric sepsis include, but are not limited to:

  • Neonates/ newly born
  • Congenital heart disease
  • Autoimmune disease (HIV/AIDS, celiac disease, type 1 diabetes)
  • Sickle Cell Disease 
  • Children with implanted/prosthetic devices 

Prevention of sepsis in neonates includes maternal GBS swab testing and subsequent antibiotics during labor. In children, prevention includes vaccination and proper handwashing. 

Continue Learning about Infectious Disease

Simple Ways to Stop the Spread of Staph and MRSA
Simple Ways to Stop the Spread of Staph and MRSA
Odds are you’ve heard of staph (Staphylococcus aureus) or MRSA (methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus), types of bacteria that can cause potenti...
Read More
How are infections diagnosed?
Honor Society of Nursing (STTI)Honor Society of Nursing (STTI)
Minor infections are often diagnosed through the symptoms, such as in cases of the cold or flu. More...
More Answers
How long do travelers stay in quarantine for a contagious disease?
Univ. of Nev. School of Medicine, Family MedicineUniv. of Nev. School of Medicine, Family Medicine
Modern quarantine lasts only as long as necessary to protect the public. Examples of how the time sp...
More Answers
What Type of Diseases Does Your Lab Focus On?
What Type of Diseases Does Your Lab Focus On?

Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.