Neonates are vulnerable to infection from prenatal and postnatal exposure to microorganisms. The immaturity of the immune system in neonates and illness and/or prematurity place these infants at significant risk for bacterial invasion and systemic infection. Long-term sequelae include, but are not limited to, prolonged hospital stays and increased risk of neurodevelopmental problems. Nurses must understand the function of the immune system and the disadvantages unique to newborn infants to be able to provide education to others and appreciate the need for vigilant monitoring and protection of these infants.
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WM McKenney; Understanding the neonatal immune system: high risk for infection. Crit Care Nurse 1 December 2001; 21 (6): 35–47. doi: https://doi.org/10.4037/ccn2001.21.6.35
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