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Why are preterm infants particularly at risk for neonatal sepsis?

Preterm or premature infants face a unique risk for neonatal sepsis. First, they generally require longer hospital stays and more medical procedures, both of which increase their risk for late-onset neonatal sepsis. The insertion of IVs and catheters can initiate infections which become sepsis. Second, preterm babies have less developed immune systems, and so their bodies are easier to overwhelm with infection because they have fewer white blood cells available to fight bacteria.

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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.