Implementation of a clinical guideline to decrease laboratory tests in newborns evaluated for early onset sepsis

Le, C.N.*, Sauer, C.W., Law, C., Proudfoot, J.A., Song, R.S. | JNPM 2020;

Creation of a clinical guideline to reduce the number of complete blood counts (CBCs) obtained on healthy term infants for early onset sepsis (EOS) evaluation secondary to maternal chorioamnionitis.
METHODS: A clinical guideline was introduced at four neonatal intensive care units (NICU) to reduce laboratory tests during EOS evaluation. Measures include frequency and timing of CBCs, culture negative sepsis, length of stay, and readmission rate.
RESULTS: Mean number of CBCs per patient significantly decreased (2.31±0.62 versus 1.52±0.65) without increasing trends for patients with culture negative sepsis, length of stay, or re-admission.
CONCLUSION: The clinical guideline demonstrated a significant reduction in the number of CBCs obtained in well-appearing infants admitted to the NICU secondary to maternal chorioamnionitis.

*Corresponding Author: 

Crystal N. Le, MD, University of California San Diego, Rady Children’s Hospital, Department of Pediatrics, Division of Neonatology, 3020 Children’s Way, MC 5008, San Diego, CA 92123, USA. Tel.: +1 858 966 5818; Fax: +1 858 966 7483; E-mail: