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Can neonatal sepsis be prevented?

Dr. Jeanne Morrison, PhD
Family Practitioner

Because neonatal sepsis can be caused by many types of bacteria, in many different patterns of infection, it is difficult to predict and prevent entirely. However, there are certain warning signs that can trigger useful prevention. For example, if an earlier child has already had sepsis due to Group B streptococcus (GBS), or if a swab test late in pregnancy detects the organism, preventative antibiotics can be administered before delivery. Complications during pregnancy, such as damage to the amniotic sac, or fever, also increase the likelihood of infection. Some varieties of neonatal sepsis can be prevented by vaccinations for the infant. Finally, basic medical safety is also crucial in preventing the development of sepsis: hand washing and equipment sterility are always important in limiting infection.

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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.