Occult Bacteremia in A Baby
Occult bacteremia is characterized by fever and bacteria in the bloodstream of a child. Such a child may look well, and the source of the infection may be unknown. It is common in infants under three months and those between 3 months and three years of age. It is hard for doctors to tell that infants under one year of age, particularly those under three months and who have a fever, have occult bacterium just by looking at them. As such, specific diagnosis and treatment interventions are employed.
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Physicians prefer to perform laboratory tests to diagnose occult bacteremia in infants under three months of age to avoid misdiagnoses. The diagnosis tests for occult bacteremia include complete blood count, blood cultures, and urinalysis, and they may be normal prompting physicians to request parents or persons taking care of the infant to closely monitor the situation from home (Burns et al., 2017). The caretaker may then return the infant to the doctor for reexamination and blood culture checking within 24 hours (Burns et al., 2017). In specific cases, such infants are subjected to hospital admission and further tests of urine, spinal fluid, and blood (Gangoiti et al., 2018). Most physicians argue that infants facing the greatest risk of occult bacteremia are those under 30 days old.
Regarding treatment, antibiotics are administered to infants diagnosed with occult bacteremia. Before the results of the blood or urine culture are out, physicians administer antibiotics to infants with a fever and who seem to be severely ill as a precautionary measure (Gangoiti et al., 2018). In such cases, an injectable antibiotic, such as ceftriaxone, is administered.
Occult bacteremia is prevalent in infants less than 30 days old. One of the major symptoms of the condition is a fever that is equal to or higher than 39° C. Diagnosis of the condition entails blood culture, urine culture and urinalysis, and at times blood and stool tests. The administration of antibiotics is the primary treatment for infants diagnosed with occult bacteremia
Burns, C. E., Dunn, A. M., Brady, M. A., Starr, N. B., Blosser, C. G., & Garzon, D. L. (2017). Pediatric primary care. St. Louis: Elsevier.
Gangoiti, I., Rodriguez, E., Zubizarreta, A., Benito, J., & Mintegi, S. (2018). Prevalence of occult bacteremia in infants with very high fever without a source. The Pediatric infectious disease journal, 37(11), e271-e273.