Recognizing Sepsis Awareness Month

Baby in NICU

Premature infants enter the world in a fragile state. Without the immune systems of full-term babies, they have an increased risk for complications and require special care that often includes a stay in the neonatal intensive care unit. One complication that can affect premature infants is sepsis, a life-threatening illness, which is recognized during the month of September with Sepsis Awareness Month.

 

Sepsis is a severe infection that is found in the blood and spreads throughout the body. There are a variety of symptoms, including apnea (difficulty breathing), decreased heart rate, temperature instability and pale or mottled coloring or jaundice.

 

Baby receiving donor milk in the NICU

While this infection can be a cause for concern, studies have shown that breastmilk lowers the risk of late-onset sepsis, or sepsis that occurs after the first week of life. In fact, every 0.15 ounces of human milk per pound that a very low birth weight infant receives during the first 28 days of life decreases the odds of sepsis by almost 20 percent.

 

When a mother’s own milk is not available, Mothers’ Milk Bank of North Texas provides fragile babies with miraculous, life-saving donor human milk, and helps protect them from complications such as this. For more information about donor milk, click here.