Topic: Severe Infections During Pregnancy Associated With Complications Around Childbirth
Individuals who are hospitalized during pregnancy due to sepsis have higher odds of complications surrounding childbirth, according to a study led by researchers at UC San Francisco. The study found that pregnancies complicated by sepsis were associated with an increased risk of cesarean delivery, postpartum hemorrhage, and preterm delivery, highlighting the risk of any severe infection during pregnancy.
“If pregnant women were admitted for severe infection, even after they’re discharged and they recover from that infection, there was an increased risk of complications related to pregnancy that are associated with core placental dysfunction,” said Stephanie Gaw, MD, PhD, assistant professor of obstetrics, gynecology and reproductive sciences at UCSF, and senior author of the paper, which appears September 3, 2021, in JAMA Network Open.
Sepsis is a life-threatening condition caused by an unusually severe response to an infection, which leads to widespread inflammation in the body and, potentially, organ failure and death. Maternal sepsis is the second leading cause of maternal mortality in the United States, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
The timing of infection also impacts outcomes for mother and baby. The cohort study found that patients with sepsis before delivery were twice as likely to have placental dysfunction compared to pregnant patients without sepsis.
During the study, the mean gestational age at the time of infection was 24.6 weeks. Early infection, at less than 24 weeks of gestation, was associated with the greatest risk of placental dysfunction, maternal hypertensive disorder, and newborns who were small for gestational age.
Topic Discussed: Severe Infections During Pregnancy Associated With Complications Around Childbirth
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