NYMC Faculty Publications

Comparison of proposed National Institute of Child Health and Human Development panel recommendations with newborn sepsis risk calculator in term neonates exposed to maternal chorioamnionitis

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Resident/Fellow, Faculty

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Pediatrics and Neonatology

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Obstetrics and Gynecology


BACKGROUND: Maternal chorioamnionitis (MC) is one of the major risk factors for early-onset neonatal sepsis. Kaiser sepsis risk calculator (SRC) is a validated risk assessment tool for such newborns. The National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD) workshop on MC has proposed a risk assessment algorithm. The objective of the study was to compare the reduction in antibiotic use in newborns treated with SRC and NICHD algorithm and determine the antibiotic use correlation between them. METHODOLOGY: A retrospective chart review was performed on newborns born at ≥ 37 weeks to mothers with MC during the years 2018-2020. The same cohort of newborns was evaluated using SRC and NICHD algorithm to determine whether treatment with antibiotics could have been avoided in some patients. The data were analyzed using a t-test, Chi-square test, and ANOVA. RESULTS: During the study period, 101 newborns were born to mothers with chorioamnionitis and received antibiotics. When the newborns were assessed using the SRC, only 16/101 (15.84%) would have received treatment. When NICHD algorithm was applied to the same cohort 71/101 (70.30%) newborns would have received treatment. The two approaches agreed in their assessment for treatment or observation only in 44/101 (43.56%) of the cases. The NICHD treatment group had a higher incidence of chorioamnionitis as seen in placental pathology (94.37% vs. 75.00% for Kaiser, p-0.015). The SRC treatment group however had newborns with significantly lower Apgar score at 1 min (8.21 vs 6.63, p-0.006) and 5-minute (8.69 vs 8.00, p-0.019) and had significantly higher supplemental oxygen requirements at admission (62.50% vs. 21.13%, p < 0.001). CONCLUSION: Both SRC and NICHD algorithms expose fewer newborns to antibiotics; however, they differ in the number of newborns that would require antibiotics. Ventilation assistance and lower Apgar scores were associated with higher probability of antibiotic administration.