Yearly, about two million infants die during the first 28 days of life. Most of these deaths occur in Sub-Saharan Africa and third of those are caused by severe infections. Early identification of infants at risk of death is important when trying to prevent the poor outcome.
To identify risk factors for death among young infants with possible serious bacterial infection (pSBI) at hospital admission.
This prospective, observational, single-site, descriptive study is a part of a larger study on bacterial meningitis in infants <90 days of age admitted in the Pediatric Hospital of Luanda, the capital of Angola from 1 February 2016 to 23 October 2017. Infants with pSBI, known outcome and final diagnosis were included.
Of 574 young infants with pSBI, 115 (20%) died in hospital. An altered level of consciousness, absence of spontaneous movements, dyspnea, not clear CSF, low CSF glucose, high CSF protein, heart rate over median and seizures were identified as risk factors for death in univariate analyses. In multivariate analysis, only heart rate over median and seizures were independent predictors of death.
Easily recognizable clinical signs, tachycardia and seizures, may guide clinicians to identify infants with high risk of death due to severe bacterial infections in sub-Saharan Africa.

Copyright © 2021. Published by Elsevier Ltd.