Evaluation of Implementation of Early-Onset Sepsis Calculator in Newborns in Israel

J Pediatr. 2021 Jul;234:71-76.e2. doi: 10.1016/j.jpeds.2021.04.007. Epub 2021 Apr 20.


Objective: To evaluate the recommendations based on the early-onset sepsis (EOS) calculator in the first 2 years of its implementation in Israel.

Study design: Prospective 2-year surveillance of a cohort of infants born at gestational age of ≥34 weeks in Bnai Zion Medical Center, who were evaluated using the EOS calculator because of peripartum risk factors.

Results: We evaluate 1146 newborns with peripartum risk factors using the EOS calculator. The percentage of infants who had laboratory evaluation decreased to 4.6%, and the EOS calculator recommended empiric antibiotic therapy in only 2.2%. During the study period, there were 4 early-onset infections (EOS incidence of 0.6 in 1000 live births). Three had group B streptococcus (GBS) and one had Escherichia coli infection. Only 2 of these infants had perinatal risk factors and the EOS calculator identified them and recommended laboratory evaluation and empiric antibiotics. However, 2 infants with GBS EOS had no perinatal risk factors or clinical symptoms at delivery, and were discovered clinically at older ages.

Conclusions: The Israeli EOS calculator-based guidelines seem to be appropriate and are associated with less laboratory evaluations, and little use of empiric antibiotics. Concerns are related to the current recommendation of no GBS universal screening in Israel, and the inability of the calculator-based approach to identify GBS EOS in infants born to mothers with unknown GBS who have no peripartum risk factors before presentation of clinical symptoms.

Keywords: EOS calculator; early-onset sepsis (EOS); empiric antibiotics; evaluation; newborn.

MeSH terms

  • Decision Support Techniques*
  • Delivery, Obstetric / statistics & numerical data
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Israel / epidemiology
  • Neonatal Sepsis / diagnosis*
  • Neonatal Sepsis / epidemiology
  • Practice Guidelines as Topic
  • Pregnancy
  • Prospective Studies
  • Risk Factors
  • Sepsis