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The HeRO score: Enhancing prognosis and predicting nosocomial infections in newborns - insights from the neonatal intensive care unit.

BACKGROUND: Nosocomial infections pose a significant health risk to neonates, and traditional biomarkers used for diagnosis often fall short in predicting such infections. In this study, we evaluate the efficacy of the HeRO (Heart Rate Observation score), a novel predictive tool for late-onset neonatal sepsis, in improving neonatal prognosis and reducing morbidity and mortality rates.

METHODS: A prospective study was conducted from September 2020 to May 2021, reviewing patient evaluation for all neonates admitted to the neonatal intensive care unit during this period after the implementation of the HeRO score.

RESULTS: Of the 100 cases studied, preterm neonates accounted for the majority (51%), with 65% being born at gestational age greater than 32 weeks and 35% born at less than 32 weeks. A male-to-female sex ratio of 1.56. Perinatal asphyxia was the primary reason for initial hospitalization, often accompanied by pulmonary neonatal infection. The HeRO score showed an increase within 24 hours of the onset of clinical signs of sepsis in 52% of cases and after 24 hours in 47% of cases. In 51% of cases, the score exhibited an increase greater than 2. Blood cultures were positive in 91% of cases. The duration of hospital stays for newborns ranged from 7 to 42 days, with an average stay for newborns whose score rose 24 hours before clinical signs.

CONCLUSION: This study highlights the significance of utilizing the HeRO score for predicting nosocomial infections in neonates, despite the possibility of false assumptions. Implementing the HERO score enables early intervention, thereby improving the assumption of responsibility and reducing neonatal morbidity and mortality rates.

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