Birth injuries

Introduction to birth injuries Birth injuries are those suffered during childbirth. They include extensive caput succedaneum, cephalhaematoma, subgaleal haemorrhage, nerve palsies and fractures. The presentation varies depending on type and site of injury. Excessive traction may result in injury to the brachial plexus and may be associated with fracture or injury of the humerus or … Read more

Sick Newborn Baby

Introduction The term newborn (neonate) refers to a baby in the first month of life. At birth all healthy newborns are active with a strong cry. Any baby born ill will show signs of poor activity or may be described as “being flat” or floppy in severe cases. The newborn with one or more abnormal … Read more


Introduction Malnutrition occurs when there is a deficiency in intake of essential nutrients (i.e. proteins, carbohydrates, fats, vitamins and minerals). It is most commonly seen in children less than five years, particularly after weaning. Malnutrition reduces the individual’s ability to fight disease and infection thereby increasing the likelihood of the patient presenting with diarrhoea, vomiting, … Read more

Blood Transfusion In The Newborn

Introduction Blood transfusion is the administration of blood for therapy. Blood transfusion in the newborn is indicated by: Acute haemorrhage Anaemia For haemorrhage, the decision to transfuse should be based on the infant’s haemodynamics – pulse, blood pressure -and not on haematocrit which is usually normal immediately after haemorrhage. Cross-match is desirable only if the … Read more

Malaria in Children

Introduction Malaria in the newborn babies presents as sepsis in most instances as the clinical features are very similar. Investigations Rapid Diagnostic Tests for rapid detection of Plasmodium falciparum in situations of poor laboratory services Peripheral blood film microscopy with Giemsa staining which most frequently reveals Plasmodium falciparum. Full blood count: anaemia and leucocytosis. Blood … Read more

Bacterial Meningitis in Children

Introduction Bacterial meningitis refers to inflammation of the leptomeninges as a result of bacterial infection. This condition occurs more frequently in Late-Onset Sepsis compared to Early-Onset Sepsis. See Sepsis. It is associated with high mortality because early diagnosis is usually difficult since the early features are non-specific. Clinical Features The early, non-specific features include: fever, … Read more

Sepsis in Children

Introduction Sepsis is a clinical syndrome resulting from bacterial blood stream infection with active proliferation of the organisms. Early-Onset sepsis manifests within the first 48 hours of life or at most 7 days of life while. Late-Onset sepsis manifests after 7 days of life. Terminologies. Early-Onset sepsis is presumed when risk factors for sepsis are … Read more

Jaundice in Children

Introduction Jaundice refers to the yellowish discolouration of the sclera, skin and mucous membranes as a result of excessive accumulation of bilirubin in the blood. It is clinically visible at total  serum bilirubin (TSB) level of 5mg/dl (85μmol/L). Close to 60% of term and 80% of preterm infants develop jaundice within the first week of … Read more

Necrotizing Enterocolitis in Children

Introduction Necrotizing enterocolitis refers to extensive necrosis of the intestine of multi-factorial origin. It may ultimately result in intestinal perforation. It commonly affects the terminal ileum and proximal colon but it may involve the entire length of the gut. Predisposing Factors Prematurity and very low birth weight, early infant formula feeding, intra-uterine growth restriction, polycythaemia, … Read more

Vitamin K Deficiency Bleeding in Children

Introduction Vitamin K deficiency bleeding or VKDB, occurs when babies cannot stop bleeding because their blood does not have enough Vitamin K to form a clot. The bleeding can occur anywhere on the inside or outside of the body. It is formerly known as the Haemorrhagic Disease of the Newborn. It is due to the deficiency … Read more