What is the pathophysiology of postpartum infections?

Updated: Oct 11, 2019
  • Author: Andy W Wong, MD; Chief Editor: Bruce M Lo, MD, MBA, CPE, RDMS, FACEP, FAAEM, FACHE  more...
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Answer

Local spread of colonized bacteria is the most common etiology for postpartum infection following vaginal delivery. Endometritis is the most common infection in the postpartum period. Other postpartum infections include (1) postsurgical wound infections, (2) perineal cellulitis, (3) mastitis, (4) respiratory complications from anesthesia, (5) retained products of conception, (6) urinary tract infections (UTIs), and (7) septic pelvic phlebitis. Wound infection is more common with cesarean delivery. (A review study by Haas et al indicated that cleansing the vagina with a povidone-iodine or chlorhexidine solution immediately prior to cesarean delivery decreases the risk for postoperative endometritis. [4] )


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