Sepsis represents a leading cause of maternal morbidity and mortality in the
United States and worldwide. Clinical management of sepsis in pregnancy must take
into consideration the unique pathophysiology of pregnancy. Etiologies of sepsis in
pregnant and post-partum women differ from a patient who is non-pregnant.
Moreover, the clinical diagnosis of sepsis in pregnancy can be quite challenging due to
the anticipated physiologic changes that occur in pregnancy, contributing to variability
in recognition. Pre-existing maternal medical conditions and other demographic
factors may also predispose certain women to developing sepsis. Prompt recognition
and subsequent treatment of sepsis in pregnancy can improve both maternal and
neonatal outcomes. In the present review, we will summarize the perinatal
implications of sepsis in the obstetric population during the antepartum and postpartum periods. Further
understanding of systemic inflammation leading to multi-system organ failure, non-obstetric and obstetric
etiologies of sepsis, and subsequent perinatal complications will help to expeditiously identify and treat
women with this life-threatening condition to ultimately improve outcomes.
Keywords: Infection, obstetric, pregnancy, pregnancy complications, review, sepsis, SIRS.
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