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J Perinat Neonatal Nurs. 1994 Mar;7(4):52-64.

At risk for infection: the very-low-birth-weight infant.


The very-low-birth-weight (VLBW) infant is at high risk for developing infection during the antenatal, prenatal, and postnatal periods. The six major predisposing factors are perinatal infections, an immature immune system, decreased natural defenses, disease states and disorders leading to infection, side effects of medication, and prolonged hospitalization and iatrogenic complications of lifesaving therapies. Quality nursing care plays a crucial role in recognizing signs and symptoms of sepsis and facilitating a timely diagnostic evaluation. Prevention, prompt diagnosis, and treatment will reduce the high morbidity and mortality rates associated with sepsis in the VLBW infant.

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