Severe Puerperal Sepsis-A Simmering Menace QC04-QC08
Dr. Sheeba Marwah,
Research Officer, Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Vmmc and Safdarjung Hospital, New Delhi-110029, India.
Introduction: Even decades after the development of effective low-cost antibiotics, sepsis persists as the foremost cause of preventable maternal death worldwide. In developing countries like India, where the paramount impediment to intervention is poverty, maternal mortality due to sepsis is a continuing representation of maternal health inequality.
Aim: To determine the incidence, risk factors and mortality in women presenting with puerperal sepsis in a tertiary care health facility in India.
Materials and Methods: This retrospective study was carried out in VMMC and Safdarjung Hospital, New Delhi, India, from January 2016 to June 2016 in Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology. Case records of all eligible patients of puerperal sepsis were reviewed and data were extracted regarding demographic profile, clinical profile on admission, course in hospital, management, complications and cause of mortality (in case of death). Inclusion criteria were any patient presenting either immediately after delivery or miscarriage or within 42 days of these events with fever and any of the following: pain abdomen, malodorous lochia, abdominal distention, uterine tenderness, pelvic abscess, peritonitis, mechanical or foreign body injury, any system/organ failure or shock. Exclusion criteria consisted of patients presenting with fever during pregnancy or more than 42 days after delivery or miscarriage, or patients presenting with fever due to medical conditions, wound infection, mastitis, UTI or thrombophlebitis. Data were entered in predesigned proformas and analysed. A p-value of less than 0.05 was considered significant.
Results: During the study period, a total of 33 cases met the inclusion criteria. Of these, 90% were referred cases. Anaemia, prolonged labour, delivery by an untrained person and unsafe abortion were the main identifiable risk factors. Surgical management was required in 75% cases, while 70% women succumbed to their illness, mostly due to multiorgan failure.
Conclusion: Maternal mortality due to maternal sepsis is very high; Lack of safe and hygienic practices for conducting delivery and abortion are important contributory factors.