Development of a scoring system for the early diagnosis of equine neonatal sepsis



A sepsis scoring system was developed and tested prospectively in a blind study of 190 neonatal foals admitted to the University of Florida Veterinary Medical Teaching Hospital's neonatal intensive care unit. The system used 14 readily available historical, clinical or laboratory variables and weighted each item to arrive at a sepsis score. The score was found to have a sensitivity of 93 per cent, a specificity of 86 per cent, positive accuracy rate of 89 per cent and negative accuracy rate of 92 per cent. The sepsis score was far more sensitive and specific for infection, even in very early cases, and had fewer false positive and false negative values than did any parameter taken individually.