Background: There is a sudden rise in infectious diseases, with special concern to the most recent SARS-CoV 2 outbreak. A retrospective study was conducted to study the effect of this outbreak on neonatal sepsis as a global issue that poses a challenge for pediatric management and to identify its risk factors, microbial profile, and mortality rate at King Faisal Medical Complex, Taif, KSA, a COVID-19-tertiary care segregation hospital.
Methods: This research included 111 neonates with a culture-proven diagnosis of neonatal sepsis (4 and 62 cases during 2019 and 2020, respectively).
Results: During 2019 early onset sepsis (EOS) occurred in 6/49 (12.2%) while in 2020 22/62 (35.5%), and during 2019 late onset sepsis (LOS) occurred in 43/49 (87.7%) while in 2020 40/62 (64.5%). Premature rupture of membrane was the major neonatal risk factor for EOS during 2019 and 2020 with proportions of 4 (66.7%), 20 (90.9%); respectively. As regards LOS, the peripherally inserted central catheters and peripheral lines were the top neonatal risk factors. In the two-year outbreak, the most prevalent causative organism for EOS neonates was Escherichia coli and for LOS neonates it was Klebsiella. There was non-significant change in the mortality rate of neonatal sepsis between 2019 and 2020. However, the mortality rate was higher in EOS 9/22 (40.9%) in 2020 in comparison to 2/6 (33.3%) in 2019.
Conclusions: Neonatal sepsis remains a major health problem causing serious morbidity and mortality, and health care policy makers have to implement EOS preventive measures.