Clinical decisions related to CBC screening of asymptomatic full-term infants at risk for group B streptococcus disease

Deborah Kay Parks, The University of Texas School of Nursing at Houston

Abstract

Objective. Although complete blood count (CBC) changes occur with the development of clinical sepsis in newborns, the CBC has not been reported to be a sensitive predictor of sepsis in asymptomatic full-term newborn infants, nor has it been reported to be related to risk factors for sepsis or clinical decisions. The objective of this study was to evaluate the relationship between the WBC/I:T (immature:total neutrophil) ratio and maternal group B streptococcal (GBS) risk factors (rupture of membranes ≥18 hours, maternal temperature ≥100.4°F, maternal age ≤20 years, previous infant with invasive GBS disease, maternal GBS bacteriuria, and black ethnicity); and to evaluate the relationship between the WBC/I:T ratios and providers' clinical decisions (observe versus repeat the CBC or complete sepsis evaluation) in the asymptomatic full-term newborn at risk for early-onset GBS sepsis. ^ Methods. Medical records of infants admitted to the well baby nursery at a tertiary care teaching hospital in Houston, TX between 1/1/99 and 12/31/00 whose gestational ages were ≥35 weeks; who had mothers with GBS positive or unknown culture status and inadequate intrapartum antibiotic prophylaxis; and who had screening CBCs performed in the first 30 hours of life because of GBS risk were reviewed (n = 412). Demographic information, maternal GBS risk factors, CBC results, clinical decisions, and rationales for clinical decisions were collected. ^ Results. With the exception of black ethnicity (p = .0000, odds ratio = 0.213), no statistically significant differences in risk factors between infants with normal and abnormal WBC counts or normal and abnormal I:T ratios were found. Infants with abnormal WBCs had a significantly higher likelihood of having a CBC repeated (p = 0.002 for WBC). Providers documented the CBC result in the rationale for clinical decisions in 62% of the cases. ^ Conclusion. The CBC results were not related to maternal risk factors for GBS except for ethnicity. Black infants had significantly lower WBC levels than infants of other ethnicities, although this difference was clinically insignificant. Infants with abnormal WBCs had a significantly higher likelihood of undergoing repeat CBCs but not sepsis evaluations. Provider rationale was difficult to evaluate due to insufficient documentation. The screening CBC result did not impact the clinicians' decisions to initiate sepsis evaluations in this population. ^

Subject Area

Health Sciences, Nursing

Recommended Citation

Parks, Deborah Kay, "Clinical decisions related to CBC screening of asymptomatic full-term infants at risk for group B streptococcus disease" (2001). Texas Medical Center Dissertations (via ProQuest). AAI3003093.
http://digitalcommons.library.tmc.edu/dissertations/AAI3003093

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