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Does a preemie with a fever automatically get a spinal tap & antibiotics??

post #1 of 6
Thread Starter 
I know nothing about having a preemie.

My sister has one born at 36wks. He is 3wks old now. She is very nervous of her DS getting sick bec this is what they told her they do before they know what is wrong with the baby.

It sounds strange to me, but like I said life with an early babe is unknown to me.

When did you start taking your LOs out of the house besides to the Dr?
post #2 of 6
not necessarily but policy varies from hospital to hospital. my middle child came at 34weeks due to prom. i was kept pregnant for 3 days before my induction to get in the steroids for her lungs and she spiked a fever and started having some weird heart rhythms so she got a lumbar puncture and antiobiotics while they tested for sepsis. because of the length of tiime of rupture before the birth, they assumed infection and started antibiotics.
post #3 of 6
My understanding is that the spinal tap and abx are pretty standard for any baby under a month old with a fever over 100.4 (I'm getting this from If Your Kid Eats This Book Everything Will Still Be Okay by Lara Zibners, she has a post about fevers up at http://www.drzibners.com/).

My daughter was born at 32w 4d, and we've been pretty cautious with her. We're getting braver now that flu season is almost over and now that (at 5 months, unadjusted) she's pretty robust. It has taken some time to get here. I never did the preemie lockdown thing that I know some people do (I have a toddler in preschool, it wouldn't do me any good anyway), but I did avoid taking her on the train, we've asked sick people not to come to our house, and because I turn out to suck at telling people not to touch the baby, we stayed home a lot for the first few months.

I was never particularly worried about the spinal tap (although it sounds ghastly and I wouldn't want them to have to do it to my kid), but DD had some fairly serious respiratory distress right when she was born, and she's more prone to develop complications like pneumonia as a result. Boys tend to have more prematurity-related breathing issues than girls do, so even at 36w, your nephew could have had some of those, and that's a reason to be cautious too.
post #4 of 6
Our DS was born at 32w6d, and spiked a temp of about 101 at around 10 weeks actual age. Our ped sent us straight to the ER, where they started with blood work and a UA. They wanted to do a full septic workup right away, but my dh and I were very adamant that we would not do the LP unless the bloodwork and UA came back clean. As it turned out, DS had a UTI, so we avoided the LP.

It is our hospital's policy that all babies under 2 months get a full septic workup with a temp over 100.4. It varies by hospital.

We did try very hard to limit our DS's exposure to sick people, and limited who held him for awhile. Having 4 older children made it a little difficult, but other than the UTI and a very mild cold, he has been remarkably healthy!
post #5 of 6
Quote:
Originally Posted by olien View Post
I know nothing about having a preemie.

My sister has one born at 36wks. He is 3wks old now. She is very nervous of her DS getting sick bec this is what they told her they do before they know what is wrong with the baby.

It sounds strange to me, but like I said life with an early babe is unknown to me.

When did you start taking your LOs out of the house besides to the Dr?
As others have said, this is true for all newborns, not just preemies. Mine was a 34-weeker, and unless there are other issues at hand, being a "late preemie" really does not put the baby any more at risk for infection or sickness than any other newborn. It's something you have to be careful about for all new babies. I tried to mainly stick around the house for the first 6 weeks or so, but it would have been the same if he had been full-term.
post #6 of 6
The Children's hospital we attend's policy is up to chronological of 44 weeks gestation.

So, our foster daughter is an ex-26 weeker. She spiked a fever at 42 weeks. The did the spinal tap and found latent Strep B. I'm so glad, because it could have been BAD.

It is scary, but it's because it's serious.
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