Neonatal sepsis is a life-threatening emergency and any delay in treatment may cause death. Initial signs of neonatal sepsis are slight and nonspecific. Therefore, in suspected sepsis, two or three days empirical antibiotic therapy should begin immediately after cultures have been obtained without awaiting the results. Antibiotics should be reevaluated when the results of the cultures and susceptibility tests are available. If the cultures are negative and the clinical findings are well, antibiotics should be stopped. Because of the nonspecific nature of neonatal sepsis, especially in small preterm infants, physicians continue antibiotics once started. If a baby has pneumonia or what appears to be sepsis, antibiotics should not be stopped, although cultures are negative. The duration of therapy depends on the initial response to the appropriate antibiotics but should be 10 to 14 days in most infants with sepsis and minimal or absent focal infection.