Perinatal Pyrexia: A prevalence study of pyrexia in the perinatal period of term babies at the Intermediate Hospital Oshakati (IHO), Namibia.
Thesis (MMed)--Stellenbosch University, 2016
ENGLISH ABSTRACT : Background Pyrexia is a significant sign of neonatal sepsis which in turn is associated with child mortality, especially in Africa. Temperature monitoring is an important element of every neonatal unit. Aim The aim of this study was to assess the prevalence of, pattern of and factors associated with perinatal pyrexia among term babies delivered at Intermediate Hospital Oshakati, Namibia. Methods A prospective, descriptive study was conducted on 384 consecutive full term neonates recruited during a 6 -month period. Temperatures were recorded immediately after birth and every 6 hours thereafter for 7 days. Known risk factors for pyrexia in this context such as maternal fever, urinary tract infection (UTI) and premature rupture of membrane (PROM) were evaluated to study their effects on the temperature pattern. Pyrexia in this context was defined as at least one axillary temperature ≥ 37.2˚C. Temperature data was collected prospectively using a special recording sheet, while data on risk factors was obtained retrospectively from the clinical files. Poisson regression was used in analyzing the predictors. Means, standard deviations (SD) and 95% confidence intervals were computed. A p < 0.05 was considered to be statistically significant. Results Temperature ranged from 32.0℃ to 39.7℃ and 68% of the babies developed pyrexia within the first 3 days. There were on average 3 episodes of pyrexia per baby per day. The mean point prevalence of pyrexia was 76.14%. Maternal fever, UTI, and PROM had no significant effect on pyrexia. Conclusion The study indicated that there was a high prevalence of perinatal pyrexia among term babies at Intermediate Hospital Oshakati. It is therefore necessary to perform more definitive studies to determine the clinical implication of this high prevalence especially with respect to antibiotic use.
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