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Shah NM, Charani E, Ming D Antimicrobial stewardship and targeted therapies in the changing landscape of maternal sepsis. J Intensive Med. 2024; 4:(1)46-61

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Maternal sepsis

02 May 2024
Volume 32 · Issue 5


George F Winter discusses the risks of maternal sepsis, and explores the latest evidence of interventions to help reduce it

Maternal sepsis is described as ‘a life-threatening condition defined as organ dysfunction resulting from infection during pregnancy, childbirth, post-abortion or post-partum period’ (Powell et al, 2023), with some 75 000 pregnant women globally dying annually from sepsis and most deaths occurring in low-income countries. Knight and Tuffnell (2018) highlighted the long-running UK and Ireland Confidential Enquiry into Maternal Deaths and Morbidity, who recommended that the keys to the diagnosis and management of sepsis are:

However, as Shah et al (2024) pointed out, while morbidity and mortality from sepsis in pregnancy worldwide have fallen (age-standardised infection rates were 800 per 100 000 pregnancies in 1990, and 550 per 100 000 pregnancies in 2019), in 2019 there were over 20 million cases of maternal sepsis and other maternal infections worldwide, and WHO reports the global prevalence of maternal sepsis as 4.4%.

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