Of 8791 consecutive newborns, we studied 205 (2.3%) women with a history of prolonged rupture of membranes (PROM) greater than 24 hr to assess the incidence of infection, to identify the rate of clinical symptoms, and to examine the use of the white blood count (WBC) and neutrophil values as screening tools to predict infection. Blood culture and complete blood counts (CBC) were obtained in 175 (85%). Fifteen (8.2%) had positive blood cultures including group B streptococcus, streptococcus viridans, streptococcus pneumoniae, staphlococcus epidermidis, and staphlococcus aureus. In the remaining 8586 infants born to mothers without PROM, 10 had positive blood cultures for an incidence of 0.1%. In the PROM group, the six who manifested clinical symptoms had abnormal CBCs; abnormal white blood count (2), abnormal neutrophil count (5), high band/metatamyelocyte count (4), and increased immature to total neutrophil ratio (4). Of the nine asymptomatic infants, seven (78%) had abnormal CBCs, five (56%) with a high WBC, five (56%) had a high neutrophil count, two (22%) had a high band/metatamyelocyte count, and one a high immature to total neutrophil ratio. CBC values were obtained from infants with PROM and negative blood cultures. Five of these 15 controls had an abnormal CBC. In the term new-born, PROM is associated with significantly increased incidence of positive blood cultures. The sensitivity of the CBC was 86% and specificity 66%. In view of this data a conservative clinical approach utilizing blood cultures and CBC evaluations in the management of PROM is warranted.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
- Obstetrics and Gynecology
- Prolonged rupture of membranes