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Vancomycin Prophylaxis for Late-Onset Sepsis in Very Low and Extremely Low Birth Weight Neonates

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LATE-ONSET SEPSIS AMONG very low birth weight (VLBW) and extremely low birth weight (ELBW) neonates is a troubling occurrence. The most recently published data from the National Nosocomial Infection Surveillance system documents 5.4 umbilical- and central line–related bloodstream infections (BSIs) per 1,000 catheter days in infants weighing between 1,001 and 1,500 g.1 For infants weighing 1,000 g or less, the rate is 9.1 infections per 1,000 catheter days. A variety of factors, including prematurity and related relative immunocompromise, altered skin integrity, and multiple invasive procedures, places VLBW and ELBW neonates at risk for infection. Tunneled central catheters or peripherally inserted central catheters (PICCs) clearly add to the risk of infection in these vulnerable patients. In a point prevalence survey of a network of 29 NICUs, researchers found that coagulase-negative Staphylococcus (CoNS) was the causative organism in nearly half (48.3 percent) of the documented bloodstream infections.2 Vancomycin prophylaxis is a potential strategy for the prevention of late-onset sepsis associated with CoNS. This column explores the efficacy and safety of this strategy.

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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: September 1, 2008

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