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NICE clinical guideline: antibiotics for the prevention and treatment of early-onset neonatal infection
  1. Emma Caffrey Osvald1,
  2. Philippa Prentice2
  1. 1Neonatal Unit, Birmingham Women's Hospital, Birminghamm, UK
  2. 2Department of Paediatrics, University of Cambridge, Addenbrooke's Hospital, Cambridge, UK
  1. Correspondence to Dr Emma Caffrey Osvald, Neonatal Unit, Birmingham Women's Hospital, Mindelsohn Way, Birmingham B15 2TG, UK; ecosvald{at}

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Information about current guideline

Early-onset neonatal infection, defined as infection within 72 h of birth, is a significant cause of mortality and morbidity,1 where Group B streptococcus (GBS) is most frequently responsible.1 ,2 The National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) guideline: ‘Antibiotics for early-onset neonatal infection: antibiotics for the prevention and treatment of early-onset neonatal infection’1 was published in August 2012. It aims to help identify those neonates at risk of infection, to promote prompt treatment for neonates with suspected infection and to minimise antibiotic exposure to those babies who do not have early-onset neonatal infection. The guideline was developed by the National Collaborating Centre for Women's and Children's Health.

Previous guideline

There are no previous detailed national guidelines on the management of early-onset neonatal sepsis. The Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists published a guideline in 2003 (updated 2012) focusing on prevention of GBS, which included some aspects of the management of early-onset neonatal sepsis.2

Box 2


Link to NICE guideline and full guideline

English link to public information on antibiotics for early-onset neonatal infection

Antibiotics for early-onset neonatal infection podcast with Dr Mark Turner

Key issues the guideline recommends

For mothers

  • Offering intrapartum antibiotics to any …

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  • Contributors This article was written by ECO with input from PP.

  • Competing interests None.

  • Provenance and peer review Commissioned; externally peer reviewed.