Very low birth weight infants (VLWB)

Below 1500g.

In 2000 accounted for 1.4% of births but 51% of infant deaths.

Incidence bacterial sepsis ranges from 1 to 10 per 1000 live births.

One in 4 VLBW infants die within the first year of life, with 87% death in the first month.

As many as 25% of these infants have a positive blood culture and about 5% have a cerebrospinal fluid infection over the course of their neonatal hospitalization.

Rates of infection increase with decreased birth weight and gestational age.

Infections associated with increased risk of complications, prolongation of hospitalization and death.

Mortality is lowest in hospitals with neonatal ICU’s that treat more than 100 of such infants annually.

Care in high volume hospital neonatal ICU’s associated with decreased risk of intraventricular hemorrhage.

Surviving VLBW infants have higher rates of morbidity and disability wth developmental delays and impaired cognition, than infants of normal birth weight.

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