Sepsis and Pregnancy
Although pregnancy is the same for women worldwide, their safety and the safety of their baby varies greatly, depending on where the women live and the type of medical care they receive – if any.
Sepsis is one of the illnesses that can – and does – develop in some pregnant women. Sometimes called blood poisoning, sepsis is the body's often deadly inflammatory response to infection. Sepsis kills and disables millions - more than breast cancer, lung cancer, and stroke combined.
It is more common in the developing world, but it also does affect women in North America and other wealthier countries. In the mid-90s, sepsis was responsible for about 7.6 percent of maternal deaths in the United States. And, in a study done by the Mayo Clinic, published in 2005, researchers found that although sepsis in pregnant was no longer as common in American hospitals, it still is potentially deadly and requires early detection, accurate diagnosis, and aggressive appropriate treatment.
Sometimes called blood poisoning, sepsis is the body's often deadly response to infection or injury. Sepsis kills and disables millions and requires early suspicion and rapid treatment for survival. Worldwide, one-third of people who develop sepsis die. Many who do survive are left with organ dysfunction and/or amputations. (What is the prognosis (outcome) with sepsis?)
How Does Sepsis Occur in Pregnant Women?
Sepsis can develop in a pregnant woman as the result of one of many complications, illnesses, or procedures. Here are just a few:
Abortions: Infections are a risk after any abortion. As a result, any woman who has had an abortion should watch for signs of infection and seek medical help immediately if there are any signs of infection (lasting or increasing pain, discolored or odorous discharge, abdominal tenderness, high temperature, fatigue, feeling unwell).
Prolonged or obstructed labor, vaginal or Cesarean delivery: An unusually long time of labor or labor that stops could stress the body.
Infection following vaginal delivery: Although not common in the developed world among women who give birth in healthcare facilities, infections are very common in the developing world.