Optimal management of bacterial infections of the newborn requires a diagnostic awareness that a newborn infant may have systemic infection without appearing seriously ill. It also requires recognition of the various ways in which neonates are physiologically and pharmacologically unique. Important in the management of any neonatal infection, these principles are especially critical with regard to septicemia or meningitis, which the author discusses together since the two often represents a continuum of one entity. The pathogenesis, clinical manifestations, and diagnostic workup are often similar in the two conditions.
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