Neonatal Diseases

  1. Neonatal jaundice:

    Neonatal jaundice is yellow discoloration found on a newborn baby's skin and eyes. It occurs due to an excess of bilirubin —a yellow pigment of red blood cells— in the baby’s bloodstream. It is a common condition, particularly in premature babies and some breast-fed babies, which usually occurs when a baby's liver is not developed enough to get rid of the excess bilirubin in the blood. 

  2. Neonatal Sepsis:

    Neonatal sepsis is a blood infection that occurs in infants younger than 90 days old. Early-onset sepsis is diagnosed in the first week of life, usually within 24 to 48 hours of birth, while late-onset sepsis occurs after 1 week until 3 months of age.

    Early-onset neonatal sepsis usually occurs as the baby gets the infection from their mother before or during delivery. Preterm delivery, water breaking (rupture of membranes) longer than 18 hours before birth and infection of the placenta tissues and amniotic fluid are the main factors that increase the baby’s risk of early-onset sepsis. 

    On the other hand, babies with late-onset neonatal sepsis are infected after delivery. Normally, this results from the existence of a catheter in a blood vessel for a long time or staying in the hospital for an extended period of time. 

  3. Meningitis:

    Meningitis is defined as the inflammation of the membranes that surround a baby’s brain and spinal cord, specifically the meninges. These membranes protect the brain from injury and infection. Neonatal meningitis is the inflammation of meninges occurring in the first 28 days of life. Different types of bacteria, viruses and fungi can cause this. Nonetheless, bacteria are the most common causes; in particular group B streptococcus (GBS) and Escherichia coli (E. coli). 

    The symptoms of meningitis can be difficult to recognize in neonates. However, suffering from fever, reluctant feeding, vomiting and/or diarrhea, unresponsiveness, as well as breathing difficulties can be the cause behind meningitis. 

  4. Transient Tachypnea of the Newborn (TTN):

    This condition can be translated into a short-lived fast breathing rate, which usually occurs during the first hours of the newborn’s life. It usually goes away without treatment in 3 days or less.

    Symptoms of TTN include: 

    • Fast breathing rate of more than 60 breaths a minute
    • Mumbling breathing sounds 
    • Nasal flaring (nostrils widening during breathing)