Asymptomatic term babies should be closely observed for the first 12 hours of life (at 1 hour, 2 hours, 6 hours and 12 hours) for:
- Respiratory rate, work of breathing (grunting, subcostal recession, nasal flare), central cyanosis
- Heart rate, capillary refill time
- Floppiness, general wellbeing and feeding.
If the baby remains asymptomatic, no further action is required.
If there are any clinical signs or any other risk factors for infection, investigations are required and IV antibiotics are indicated.
National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (2012). Antibiotics for early-onset neonatal infection: antibiotics for the prevention and treatment of early-onset neonatal infection. Clinical Guideline (CG) 149. London: NICE.
First published: 11/06/14