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Year : 2007  |  Volume : 10  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 43-47

Predictive values of screening tests in the diagnosis of neonatal septicaemia

Department of Child Health, University of Benin Teaching Hospital, P.M.B. 1111, Benin City, Nigeria

Correspondence Address:
A I Rabasa
Department of Paediatrics, College of Medical Sciences, University of Maiduguri, PMB 1069, Maiduguri, Borno State
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

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Background: Neonatal septicaemia remains a major cause of death worldwide, and it is diagnosed by obtaining positive blood culture. Aim/Objective: Buffy coat microscopy, white cell indices and micro-ESR were evaluated as screening tests for early diagnosis and this worrisome disease. Methodology: There where 156 evaluations from 141 babies. A full blood (total and differential white cell count), micro-erythrocyte sedimentation rate (micro-ESR) and buffy coat smear preparations were prepared from aliquot of the collected blood samples. Results: There were 39 positive blood cultures from 37 babies. Significant difference (p<0.01) between septicaemic and non- septicaemic groups was observed in the band to mature neutrophil ratio. The methylene blue stained smear of the buffy coat and micro-ESR showed high sensitive 96%). Whilst presence of 2, 3 or more abnormal test results compromised the sensitivities of the methylene blue stain and the micro- ESR, the other predictive indices, however, improved. It was also observed that the presence of 2 or more abnormal test results in infants with clinical risk of infection without microbiological proof should be strongly considered infected, especially if there was previous use of antibiotics in the mother. Conclusion: These screening tests for septicaemia could enhance the early diagnosis of neonatal septicaemia in infants with strong clinical risk of infection.

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