Sepsis and new mums

Posted by Jacqui O'Rourke on


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Today I discussed the article from BBC News with my colleague Patricia Wakeford, who was a midwife before she qualified as a Solicitor. I hadn't realised that sepsis is the leading cause of death in new mothers in the UK.

Sepsis, sometimes called blood poisoning, is the body's often deadly response to infection

A study by the National Perinatal Epidemiology Unit at the University of Oxford looked at cases from June 2011 to May 2012. 5 women died from 365 cases of maternal sepsis in the UK.

Professor Knight, of the National Perinatal Epidemiology Unit, in an interview with the BBC said:

"The majority of women who get an infection during or after pregnancy will get better quickly, however, a small number go on to develop severe sepsis or septic shock even after taking antibiotics.

Women who are pregnant or have recently given birth need to be aware that if they are not getting better after being prescribed antibiotics, for example if they continue to have high fevers, extreme shivering or pain, they should get further advice from their doctor or midwife urgently."

I think this is important advice for new mums. For more information follow visit the PLOS Medicine website

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About the Author

Photograph of Jacqui O'Rourke

Jacqui is a Nurse Advisor and Medical Researcher in our Clinical Negligence team with over 18 years of experience as a registered nurse.

Jacqui O'Rourke
Email Jacqui
023 8085 7135

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