Maternal Deaths Due to Sepsis in the State of Michigan, 1999-2006.
OBJECTIVE: To identify maternal deaths due to sepsis in the state of Michigan, review the events leading to diagnosis, and evaluate treatment to identify areas for improvement. METHODS: A case series was collected for maternal deaths due to sepsis from a cohort of maternal deaths in the state of Michigan. The study period was 1999-2006 and included deaths during pregnancy and up to 42 days postpartum. Cases were identified using Maternal Mortality Surveillance records from the Michigan Department of Community Health. Each case was reviewed by all authors. RESULTS: Maternal sepsis was the cause of death in 15% (22/151) of pregnancy-related deaths. Of 22 deaths, 13 women presented to the hospital with sepsis, two developed sepsis during hospitalization, and seven developed sepsis at home without admission to the hospital for care. Review of available hospital records (n=15) revealed delays in initial appropriate antibiotic treatment occurred in 73% (11/15) of patients. Delay in escalation of care also occurred and was identified in 53% (8/15) of patients. CONCLUSION: Common elements in these deaths illustrate three key delays that may have contributed to the deaths: in recognition of sepsis, in administration of appropriate antibiotics, and in escalation of care. LEVEL OF EVIDENCE: III.
Bauer, ME; Lorenz, RP; Bauer, ST; Rao, K; Anderson, FWJ
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