There are numerous health issues that can affect mothers and children during pregnancy, labor, and delivery. When birth injuries occur, they can have serious effects, and if the proper treatment is not provided as quickly as possible, they may result in wrongful death. Sepsis, a serious and potentially life-threatening condition that can occur during or after childbirth, is caused by an infection in the bloodstream, and it can be deadly if not properly treated. In fact, infections and sepsis are the second leading cause of pregnancy-related deaths, accounting for nearly 14 percent of all deaths. It is important for families to understand how sepsis occurs so that they can be informed and take the necessary steps to protect the life and health of a mother and her baby.
What Is Sepsis?
Sepsis occurs when an infection enters the bloodstream and triggers an immune system response. This response causes inflammation throughout the body, and it can lead to a wide range of dangerous symptoms, such as fever, chills, rapid breathing and heart rate, confusion, fatigue, and low blood pressure. If left untreated, sepsis can lead to organ failure or death.
What Causes Sepsis During or After Childbirth?
Sepsis during or after childbirth can be caused by several factors. If a mother experiences an infection before, during, or after delivery, it can lead to sepsis. These infections may occur because of inadequate sterilization of medical instruments or improper procedures during delivery. Some issues that can increase the risks of infections leading to sepsis include:
Preterm delivery before the 37th week of pregnancy
Water breaking more than 18 hours before the birth of the child
Trauma sustained during delivery (such as lacerations or large tears to the perineum)
Use of forceps or vacuum extraction during delivery
Cesarean section complications, including uterine rupture or infection at the site of incision
Retained placenta tissue in the uterus following birth
Miscarriage or stillbirth
Infections present before giving birth (e.g., urinary tract infections or strep throat)
Severe maternal morbidity can also increase the risk for sepsis in both a mother and her child following delivery due to the disruption of endocrine systems that regulate the immune response. In some cases, umbilical cord infections may occur in newborns prior to clamping/cutting of the cord. Anemia can also increase the risk of developing sepsis due to decreased ability of immune cells to identify and respond to pathogens quickly enough.
If a mother or child experiences any symptoms of sepsis, treatment should be provided immediately. This may include administering antibiotics and drugs to increase blood pressure. Fluids may be provided through an IV, and oxygen may be administered. In some cases, surgery may remove sources of infection, such as infected tissues. If an infection has affected the kidneys, dialysis may be necessary. Failure to diagnose sepsis and provide prompt treatment could result in further health complications or death.
Contact Our Chicago Birth Injury Lawyers for Sepsis
Sepsis is a serious condition that requires prompt diagnosis and treatment to avoid further health complications and potential mortality risks for mothers or children. If your family has been affected by sepsis during or after childbirth, [[title]] can help you determine your options for addressing this issue. We will help you make sure you receive the proper treatment that will allow you to make a full recovery while also addressing any long-term effects. We can also help you determine whether your injury could have been prevented, and we will do everything we can to make sure you have the resources you need as you move forward. Contact our Cook County sepsis injury attorneys at [[phone]] to set up a free consultation and get the help you need.