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JOURNAL ARTICLE

Maternal sepsis: new concepts, new practices

Megan E Foeller, Ronald S Gibbs
Current Opinion in Obstetrics & Gynecology 2019, 31 (2): 90-96
30789841

PURPOSE OF REVIEW: Sepsis is a leading cause of severe maternal morbidity and maternal death. As pregnancy-related sepsis can be difficult to recognize, clinicians should maintain a low threshold for early evaluation and treatment.

RECENT FINDINGS: Definitions and treatment guidelines for maternal sepsis were recently revised in 2016 and 2017 by the Surviving Sepsis Campaign and WHO. Multiple clinical decision tools have been created to aid clinicians in early recognition and risk prediction for sepsis in obstetric populations, but currently, an optimal screening tool does not exist. Early recognition and urgent treatment is paramount for patient survival. Antibiotics should be started within 1 h and fluid resuscitation should be initiated if sepsis-induced hypoperfusion is present. Care should be escalated to appropriate settings and source control provided.

SUMMARY: Obstetricians have a heightened understanding of the physiologic changes in pregnancy and play a vital role in coordinating patient care and improving outcomes. The recent 2016 and 2017 revisions of definitions for maternal sepsis and treatment should be incorporated into clinical practice.

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