Puerperal Sepsis, otherwise known as Postpartum Endometritis is one of the main causes of maternal death globally. It is an infection that affects the mother after childbirth. After haemorrhage and abortion, it is the third most frequent reason for maternal death after childbirth, and it may account for 15% of the 500 000 maternal deaths that occur yearly.
According to reports, infections that happen during the puerperium are the sixth most common cause of disease burden for women in their reproductive years in low- and middle-income countries.
Puerperal Sepsis is caused by bacterial infections of the uterus during pregnancy or immediately after childbirth. The infections may be due to mastitis, miscarriage, stillbirth, non-sterile abortion, preterm delivery, multiple gestations, caesarean section, pneumonia and urinary tract infections.
The risk factors of Puerperal Sepsis are pregnancy, diabetes, amniocentesis, in-vitro fertilization and chorionic villus sampling.
The symptoms include fever, body aches, chills, loss of appetite, overall discomfort, foul-smelling vaginal discharge, pale clammy skin, increased heart rate, pelvic pain, dizziness, vaginal bleeding and abdominal pain.
Complications of Puerperal Sepsis are subsequent postpartum haemorrhage and infertility.
The laboratory diagnosis includes microscopy and culture of blood, endocervical swab and urine, urinalysis, full blood count and electrolytes tests.
Puerperal sepsis can be prevented through regular vaccinations prenatal care delivery practices and proper hygiene.
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