Predictive Factors of Late-onset Sepsis in Preterm Infants and Nurses’ Practices for the Prevention of Sepsis in Pediatric Intensive Care Units

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Supaporn Tanjaroen
Somsiri Rungamornrat
Wanlaya Thampanichawat


Purpose: To investigate the predictive factors of late-onset sepsis in preterm infants and to study the practices of nurses for the prevention of sepsis in the pediatric intensive care unit.

Design: Case-control study and descriptive study.

Methods: The sample were 151 preterm infants who were admitted at the neonatal/pediatric intensive care units of three tertiary hospitals affiliated with Ministry of Defense located in Bangkok and divided into 40 cases and 111 controls. Twenty-eight nurses from three settings were also the study participants. Data were collected during the period of August to December, 2022 using an infant’s medical record form, severity of illness assessment form, a nurse’s general information record form, and an observation form of nurses’ practices to prevent sepsis in the neonatal/pediatric intensive care units. Data were analyzed by using descriptive statistics and logistic regression.

Main findings: The results indicated that severity of illness, amount of breast milk received and duration of retained central venous catheter could significantly predict 56% (R2 = .56) of late-onset sepsis in preterm infants. The severity of illness was the strongest predictive factor for late-onset sepsis in preterm infants (OR = 22.64, 95%CI = 6.52, 78.62). In addition, 82.1% of the nurses working in the three settings had a high level of practices for the prevention of sepsis.

Conclusion and recommendations: Based on the finding, severity of illness, amount of breast milk received and duration of central venous catheter insertion affected the late-onset sepsis in preterm infants. Thus, nurses should develop a care model or a guideline for prematurity care to effectively prevent the late-onset sepsis by assessing an infant’s severity of illness since the admission, promoting the adequacy of breast milk received more than 80% per day, limiting the duration of retained central venous catheter not longer than 14 days.

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Tanjaroen, S., Rungamornrat, S., & Thampanichawat, W. . (2024). Predictive Factors of Late-onset Sepsis in Preterm Infants and Nurses’ Practices for the Prevention of Sepsis in Pediatric Intensive Care Units. Nursing Science Journal of Thailand, 42(1), 13–27. Retrieved from
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