Use of human milk in the intensive care nursery decreases the incidence of nosocomial sepsis

J Perinatol. Mar-Apr 1997;17(2):130-4.

Abstract

Objectives: This study compares stool colonization and incidence of sepsis in human milk-fed (HM) and formula-fed (FF) intensive care nursery (ICN) patients.

Study design: Infants recruited prospectively were fed HM based on the decision of their mothers (59 HM and 114 FF). The incidence of sepsis was determined during the following three intervals: period 1, first 10 days of life; period 2, 11 to 24 days; and period 3, 25 to 38 days.

Results: Frequency of Escherichia coli and Enterococcus sp. colonization was increased in HM infants. The incidence of sepsis was 9.5% in period 1 (5% in HM vs 10% in FF), 17.2% in period 2 (9% in HM vs 20% in FF), and 12.5% in period 3 (0% in HM vs 15% in FF). The odds ratio for sepsis in HM infants was 0.4, the 95% limits 0.15 to 0.95, p = 0.04.

Conclusions: HM feeding in the ICN has a protective effect against nosocomial sepsis, which is unrelated to its influence on gastrointestinal (GI) flora.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Colony Count, Microbial
  • Cross Infection / epidemiology
  • Cross Infection / prevention & control*
  • District of Columbia / epidemiology
  • Feces / microbiology
  • Female
  • Hospitals, University
  • Humans
  • Incidence
  • Infant Food
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Intensive Care Units, Neonatal*
  • Male
  • Milk, Human*
  • Proportional Hazards Models
  • Prospective Studies
  • Sepsis / epidemiology
  • Sepsis / prevention & control*
  • Survival Rate