A  A  A   Print
Severe Blood Infections During Childbirth on Rise in U.S. Women

Severe Blood Infections During Childbirth on Rise in U.S. Women

THURSDAY, Sept. 26 (HealthDay News) -- In a disturbing trend, rates of severe sepsis and deaths from sepsis during childbirth rose sharply in the United States over a 10-year period, a new study reveals.

The researchers said their findings show the need for improved detection of sepsis in all women during labor and delivery, even those with no apparent risk factors for sepsis, a severe illness in which bacteria overwhelm the bloodstream.

For the study, Dr. Melissa Bauer, of the University of Michigan Health System in Ann Arbor, and colleagues analyzed national data from 1998 through 2008 and found that, overall, sepsis occurred at a rate of one per every 3,333 women who were in a hospital to give birth. The rate did not change significantly over the study period.

Severe sepsis -- which can lead to multiple organ failure -- occurred in about one in 11,000 women. The rate of severe sepsis approximately doubled from 1998 to 2008: from about one in 15,400 to one in 7,250 women in labor.

Fatal sepsis occurred in about one in 106,000 cases. Both severe and fatal sepsis increased by about 10 percent per year, found the study in the October issue of the journal Anesthesia & Analgesia.

Several medical conditions were associated with an increased risk of severe sepsis, including congestive heart failure, chronic liver and kidney disease, and lupus. Cerclage, or "cervical stitch" -- which is done to prevent premature birth -- was another significant risk factor, according to a journal news release.

Similar to risk factors for other complications of labor and delivery, other factors associated with an increased risk of severe sepsis included older age, being black, and having Medicaid insurance.

But none of these factors explained more than 6 percent of the sepsis cases. Many women who developed severe or fatal sepsis during labor and delivery had no known risk factors, according to Bauer's team.

The data did not reveal what might be causing the sharp increase in severe and fatal sepsis during labor and delivery, but it may be due to factors "such as increasing microbial resistance, obesity, smoking, substance abuse and poor general health," the study authors wrote.

The finding that many cases of severe and fatal sepsis occur in women with no apparent risk factors "underscores the need for developing systems of care that increase sensitivity for disease detection across the entire population," the researchers concluded.

More information

The U.S. National Library of Medicine has more about sepsis.

SOURCE: Anesthesia & Analgesia, news release, Sept. 23, 2013

 
Today's Interactive Tools
Related Items

The third-party content provided in the Health Library of phoebeputney.com is for informational purposes only and is not designed to diagnose or treat a health problem or disease, or replace the professional medical advice you receive from your physician. If you or your child has or suspect you may have a health problem, please consult your primary care physician. If you or your child may have a medical emergency, call your doctor or 911 or other emergency health care provider immediately in the United States or the appropriate health agency of your country. For more information regarding site usage, please visit: Privacy Information, Terms of Use or Disclaimer.

Follow us online:

© 2014 Phoebe Putney Health System  |  417 Third Avenue, Albany, Georgia 31701  |  Telephone 877.312.1167

Phoebe Putney Health System is a network of hospitals, family medicine clinics, rehab facilities, auxiliary services, and medical education training facilities. Founded in 1911,
Phoebe Putney Memorial Hospital (the flagship hospital) is one of Georgia's largest comprehensive regional medical centers. From the beginning, Phoebe's mission and vision
has been to bring the finest medical talent and technology to the citizens of Southwest Georgia, and to serve all citizens of the community regardless of ability to pay.