Malnutrition and infection are the two most common problems affecting children in most developing countries, like the Philippines. They are frequently associated with each other, thus, more often than not they result to higher mortality rate. This study was then conducted to observe the different factors that surround these two conditions and influence their outcome. To determine these factors, 67 subjects who were admitted and screened as having malnutrition and bacteremia were analyzed according to the following variables: age, sex, type of malnutrition, kind of organism causing the infection, organ/system involvement of infection, common presenting signs and symptoms, white blood cell (WBC) count and length of hospitalization. Malnutrition associated with bacteremia was observed to be: common the 1-4 year age group (59.9%), in marasmus type of malnutrition (55.2%), slightly higher in males (53%), manifested high WBC count (62%) and having gram positive bacteria as the predominant isolates in the blood (57.3%). The common clinical manifestations were diarrhea (61.2%), fever (47%), and cough (40.3%) and which were often found overlapping each other. The length of hospitalization ranged from 2 to 60 days (mean 12.4 days). The survival rate of 79.2% and mortality rate of 20% was noted not to be statistically related to age, sex, type of malnutrition, kind of organism isolated and WBC count. However, there was a significant relationship observed between mortality and gastrointestinal tract involvement (p0.05).
The study aimed to describe the clinical and bacteriologic features of severe infection with bacteremia among malnourished children admitted to the Davao Medical Center from August 1 to January 31, 1990.