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Sepsis is the most common cause of neonatal mortality. As per National
Neonatal Perinatal Database (NNPD) 2002-2003, the incidence of neonatal sepsis in India was 30 per 1000 live birth. It is 3% among intramural babies and 39.7% among extramural admissions. The early manifestations of neonatal sepsis are vague and ill-defined. Novel approaches in the diagnosis of neonatal sepsis include heart rate analysis on ECG or colorimetric analysis of skin color. Although blood culture is the gold standard for the diagnosis of sepsis, culture reports would be available only after 48-72 hours. In this era of multidrug resistance, it is mandatory to avoid unnecessary use of antibiotics to treat noninfected infants. Thus, rapid diagnostic test(s) that differentiate infected from non-infected infants, particularly in the early newborn period, that include Interleukien-6 (IL-6), neutrophil CD64 index, procalcitonin and nucleated RBC count, have the potential to make a significant impact on neonatal care. The aim of this review is to specify the diagnostic criteria, treatment guidelines and a summary of the newer diagnostic tests of sepsis.
KEY WORDS: Sepsis; Intramural; Extramural; Multidrug resistance