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Systematic Review of the Effectiveness of the Neonatal Early-Onset Sepsis Calculator

Helmbrecht, Ashley R., MS, APRN-CNP, NNP-BC, RNC-NIC; Marfurt, Stephanie, PhD, RNC, APRN, CNE; Chaaban, Hala, MD

The Journal of Perinatal & Neonatal Nursing: January/March 2019 - Volume 33 - Issue 1 - p 82–88
doi: 10.1097/JPN.0000000000000360
Feature Articles

Neonatal early-onset sepsis is a serious health concern for term and late preterm infants. Screening for early-onset sepsis is often challenging due to variation in practice, nonspecific laboratory markers, and clinical findings that mimic immaturity. This systematic review evaluates the evidence for the effectiveness of the Neonatal Early-Onset Sepsis Calculator (EOScalc) as a screening tool to appropriately identify neonatal early-onset sepsis and the ability to decrease unnecessary antibiotic use in late preterm and term infants. A comprehensive search of retrospective cohort and retrospective case-control studies was conducted using 5 databases. Studies were included if they evaluated the EOScalc within the defined parameters of use and excluded if they were not published. Six studies were identified and included from 2014 to 2017. Study comparisons varied on the basis of differing clinical practice and use of the EOScalc. Findings included in this review suggest that utilization of the EOScalc can reduce empiric antibiotic therapy, unnecessary laboratory testing, and separation of infants and mothers without increasing infant mortality.

Section of Neonatal Medicine, Department of Pediatrics, University of Oklahoma Health Science Center, Oklahoma City (Ms Helmbrecht); University of Oklahoma Fran and Earl Ziegler College of Nursing, Oklahoma City (Dr Marfurt); and Section of Neonatal Medicine, Department of Pediatrics, University of Oklahoma College of Medicine, Oklahoma City (Dr Chaaban).

Corresponding Author: Ashley R. Helmbrecht, MS, APRN-CNP, NNP-BC, RNC-NIC, Section of Neonatal Medicine, Department of Pediatrics, University of Oklahoma Health Science Center, 1200 Children's Ave, 7th Floor, Everett Tower North Pavilion, Oklahoma City, OK 73104 (Ashley-Helmbrecht@ouhsc.edu).

The manuscript was completed as partial fulfillment of the requirements of the Doctor of Nursing Practice program at the University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center Fran and Earl Ziegler College of Nursing.

Disclosure: The authors have disclosed that they have no significant relationships with, or financial interest in, any commercial companies pertaining to this article.

Each author has indicated that he or she has met the journal's requirements for Authorship.

Submitted for publication: December 16, 2017; accepted for publication: July 29, 2018.

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