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Osteomyelitis in the Neonate

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Osteomyelitis is defined as a bacterial infection of the musculoskeletal system. Osteomyelitis in the newborn is relatively rare, but if missed can have devastating, lifelong consequences for the growing infant. Those of us who care for neonates in intensive care units should have an understanding of this disease and be equipped to recognize it and begin treatment quickly to prevent long-term sequelae.

This article reviews the pathophysiology of osteomyelitis and explains why the neonate is at an extraordinary risk for this disease. It reviews risk factors, clinical presentation, etiology and pathophysiology, diagnostic evaluation, treatment and monitoring of treatment, and long-term outcomes. A case study of a 27-week gestational age infant who presented with osteomyelitis and septic hip is presented, looking at the infant's hospital course and outcome.

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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: February 1, 2002

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