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Puerperal Infection


Overview :

Puerperal infection affects an estimated 1-8% of new mothers in the United States. Given modern medical treatment and antibiotics, it very rarely advances to the point of threatening a woman's life. An estimated 2-4% of new mothers who deliver vaginally suffer some form of puerperal infection, but for cesarean sections, the figure is five-10 times that high.

Deaths related to puerperal infection are very rare in the industrialized world. It is estimated three in 100,000 births result in maternal death due to infection. However, the death rate in developing nations may be 100 times higher.

Postpartum fever may arise from several causes, not necessarily infection. If the fever is related to infection, it often results from endometritis, an inflammation of the uterus. Urinary tract, breast, and wound infections are also possible, as well as septic thrombophlebitis, a blood clot-associated inflammation of veins. A woman's susceptibility to developing an infection is related to such factors as cesarean section, extended labor, obesity, anemia, and poor prenatal nutrition.




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