Maternal sepsis update.
PURPOSE OF REVIEW: Maternal sepsis is the second leading cause of maternal death in the United States. A significant number of these deaths are preventable and the purpose of this review is to highlight causes such as delays in recognition and early treatment. RECENT FINDINGS: Maternal sepsis can be difficult to diagnose due to significant overlap of symptoms and signs of normal physiological changes of pregnancy, and current screening tools perform poorly to identify sepsis in pregnant women. Surveillance should not only include during pregnancy, but also throughout the postpartum period, up to 42 days postpartum. Education and awareness to highlight this importance are not only vital for obstetric healthcare provides, but also for nonobstetric healthcare providers, patients, and support persons. SUMMARY: Through education and continual review and analysis of evidence-based practice, a reduction in maternal morbidity and mortality secondary to maternal sepsis should be attainable with dedication from all disciplines that care for obstetric and postpartum patients. Education and vigilance also extend to patients and support persons who should be empowered to escalate care when needed.
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