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Obstet Gynecol. 1996 Feb;87(2):188-94.

Risk factors for neonatal sepsis.

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Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Tripler Army Medical Center, Hawaii, USA.



To determine the associations between maternal characteristics, intrapartum events, and neonatal sepsis by multivariate analysis.


We enrolled 823 women from a high-risk population and analyzed maternal and neonatal demographic and outcome variables with univariate analysis and multivariate logistic modeling.


Two-hundred sixteen women (26%) were colonized with group B streptococci, 82 (10%) developed chorioamnionitis, and 141 (17%) delivered prematurely. Culture-proven neonatal sepsis or meningitis was found in 15 of 833 (1.8%) neonates, and 101 of the remaining 818 (12.3%) infants were suspected to have sepsis or pneumonia. Multivariate analysis of risk factors for proven neonatal sepsis demonstrated a statistically significant association with decreasing gestational age, duration of internal monitoring for more than 12 hours (odds ratio [OR] 7.2, 95% confidence interval [CI] 1.6-32.2), maternal group B streptococcal infection (OR 4.2, 95% CI 1.4-13.1), chorioamnionitis (OR 4.4, 95% CI 1.2-16.1), and endometritis (OR 6.4, 95% CI 1.2-34.2).


Through the use of multivariate modeling, we determined that chorioamnionitis or endometritis, preterm delivery, group B streptococcal colonization, and a prolonged duration of internal monitoring are independent risk factors for neonatal sepsis. We postulate that the presence of a foreign body that traverses the birth canal may facilitate ascending peripartal infection.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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