Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Signs of severe maternal sepsis should be regarded as an obstetric emergency

Date:
July 8, 2014
Source:
Public Library of Science
Summary:
In the UK, about 50 pregnant and postnatal women develop life-threatening severe maternal sepsis (infection of the blood or 'blood poisoning') for every woman who dies from the condition, according to a new study. The study also suggests that signs of severe sepsis should be regarded as an obstetric emergency, and that doctors should be aware that prescribing antibiotics does not necessarily prevent progression of an infection to severe sepsis.

In the UK, about 50 pregnant and postnatal women develop life-threatening severe maternal sepsis (infection of the blood or "blood poisoning") for every woman who dies from the condition, according to a study from UK researchers published in this week's PLOS Medicine. The study also suggests that signs of severe sepsis should be regarded as an obstetric emergency, and that doctors should be aware that prescribing antibiotics does not necessarily prevent progression of an infection to severe sepsis.

Related Articles


The authors, led by Professor Marian Knight from the University of Oxford, also found that the onset of severe sepsis is often very rapid, and women who have recently had an infection, such as a urine, genital tract or respiratory infection, are at particularly high risk of developing severe maternal sepsis.

The authors reached these conclusions by examining information from the United Kingdom Obstetric Surveillance System (a system in which obstetricians from all hospitals around the UK send clinical information to a central point) between June 2011 and May 2012.

Over this time period, the authors found that there were 365 cases of maternal sepsis, giving an incidence of severe maternal sepsis of 4.7 women per 100,000. Seventy-one women with severe sepsis (19.5% of cases) developed septic shock, and five women (1.4% of cases) died. The most common source of sepsis (implicated in about a third of cases) was a genital tract infection. The authors also found that having a fever, taking antibiotics in the two weeks preceding sepsis, and all types of operative delivery (including caesarean section) were risk factors for maternal sepsis.

These findings suggest that pregnant or recently pregnant women with an infection need closer attention than women who are not pregnant, and also that adequate follow-up is necessary to ensure eradication of the infection.

The authors say: "This study emphasizes that both primary and secondary care practitioners should remain aware that pregnant or recently pregnant women with suspected infection need closer attention than women who are not pregnant."

They continue: "Antibiotic prescription does not necessarily prevent progression to severe sepsis, and women should be followed up to ensure recovery.

Professor Knight adds: "Women should be aware that if their symptoms persist they should seek further advice from their doctor or midwife."


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Public Library of Science. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Colleen D. Acosta, Jennifer J. Kurinczuk, D. Nuala Lucas, Derek J. Tuffnell, Susan Sellers, Marian Knight. Severe Maternal Sepsis in the UK, 2011–2012: A National Case-Control Study. PLoS Medicine, 2014; 11 (7): e1001672 DOI: 10.1371/journal.pmed.1001672

Cite This Page:

Public Library of Science. "Signs of severe maternal sepsis should be regarded as an obstetric emergency." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 8 July 2014. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/07/140708153856.htm>.
Public Library of Science. (2014, July 8). Signs of severe maternal sepsis should be regarded as an obstetric emergency. ScienceDaily. Retrieved January 31, 2015 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/07/140708153856.htm
Public Library of Science. "Signs of severe maternal sepsis should be regarded as an obstetric emergency." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/07/140708153856.htm (accessed January 31, 2015).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Health & Medicine News

Saturday, January 31, 2015

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

CDC: Get Vaccinated for Measles

CDC: Get Vaccinated for Measles

Reuters - US Online Video (Jan. 30, 2015) The CDC is urging people to get vaccinated for measles amid an outbreak that began at Disneyland and has now infected more than 90 people. Linda So reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Obama To Outline New Plan For Personalized Medicine

Obama To Outline New Plan For Personalized Medicine

Newsy (Jan. 30, 2015) President Obama is expected to speak with drugmakers Friday about his Precision Medicine Initiative first introduced last week. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
NFL Concussions Down; Still on Parents' Minds

NFL Concussions Down; Still on Parents' Minds

AP (Jan. 30, 2015) The NFL announced this week that the number of game concussions dropped by a quarter over last season. Still, the dangers of the sport still weigh on players, and parents&apos; minds. (Jan. 30) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
U.S. Wants to Analyze DNA from 1 Million People

U.S. Wants to Analyze DNA from 1 Million People

Reuters - US Online Video (Jan. 30, 2015) The U.S. has proposed analyzing genetic information from more than 1 million American volunteers to learn how genetic variants affect health and disease. Rough Cut (no reporter narration). Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins