5 Neonatal Sepsis Nursing Care Plans


Neonatal sepsis (neonatal septicemia or sepsis neonatorum) is an infection in the blood that spreads throughout the body and occurs in a neonate. Neonatal Sepsis has two types:

Early-onset Sepsis

Onset of sepsis and most often appears in the first 24 hours of life. The infection is often acquired from the mother.  This can be cause by a bacteria or infection acquired by the mother during her pregnancy, a Preterm delivery, Rupture of membranes (placenta tissue) that lasts longer than 24 hours, Infection of the placenta tissues and amniotic fluid (chorioamnionitis) and frequent vaginal examinations during labor.

Late-onset Sepsis

The second type or the Late-onset Sepsis is acquired after delivery.  This can be caused by contaminated hospital equipment, exposure to medicines that lead to antibiotic resistance, having a catheter in a blood vessel for a long time, staying in the hospital for an extended period of time.

Signs and Symptoms

Signs and symptoms of Neonatal Sepsis includes but is not limited to:

  • body temperature changes,
  • breathing problems,
  • diarrhea,
  • low blood sugar,
  • reduced movements,
  • reduced sucking,
  • seizures,
  • slow heart rate,
  • swollen belly area,
  • vomiting,
  • yellowish skin and whites of the eyes (jaundice).

Possible complications are disability and worst is death of the neonate.

Nursing Care Plans

Here are 5 Neonatal Sepsis Nursing Care Plans and nursing diagnosis:

  1. Hyperthermia
  2. Fluid Volume Deficit
  3. Ineffective Tissue Perfusion
  4. Interrupted Breastfeeding
  5. Risk for Impaired Parent/Infant Attachment


Due to the presence of an infectious agents, stimulation of the monocytes triggers the release of the pyrogenic cytokines that stimulate anterior hypothalamus which results in elevated thermoregulatory set point that leads to an increased heat conservation (Vasoconstriction) and increased heat production which results to fever.



Patient may manifest

  • Irritability
  • Weakness
  • Temperature above normal level (36 oC)
  • Skin warm to touch
  • Presence of tachycardia (above 160 bpm)
  • Presence of tachypnea (above 60 bpm)
  • WBC elevated

Nursing Diagnosis

  • Hyperthermia related to inflammatory process/ hypermetabolic state as evidenced by an increase in body temperature, warm skin and tachycardia


  • Patient will maintain normal core temperature as evidenced by vital signs within normal limits and normal WBC level
  • Patient will still maintain normal core temperature as evidenced by normal vital signs and normal laboratory results.
Nursing InterventionsRationale
Monitor neonate’s condition.To determine the need for intervention and the effectiveness of therapy.
Monitor vital signsTo have a baseline data
Provide TSBHelps in lowering down the temperature
Ensure that all equipment used for infant is sterile, scrupulously clean. Do not share equipment with other infantsPrevents the spread of pathogens to the infant from equipment
Administer antipyretics as orderedAids in lowering down temperature

Recommended Resources

Recommended nursing diagnosis and nursing care plan books and resources.

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See also

Other recommended site resources for this nursing care plan:

Other care plans related to the care of the pregnant mother and her infant:

Matt Vera is a registered nurse with a bachelor of science in nursing since 2009 and is currently working as a full-time writer and editor for Nurseslabs. During his time as a student, he knows how frustrating it is to cram on difficult nursing topics. Finding help online is nearly impossible. His situation drove his passion for helping student nurses by creating content and lectures that are easy to digest. Knowing how valuable nurses are in delivering quality healthcare but limited in number, he wants to educate and inspire nursing students. As a nurse educator since 2010, his goal in Nurseslabs is to simplify the learning process, break down complicated topics, help motivate learners, and look for unique ways of assisting students in mastering core nursing concepts effectively.
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