Recognizing Sepsis Awareness Month
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.
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.