What are the risk factors for 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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The following increase the risk for postpartum infections:

  • History of cesarean delivery

  • Premature rupture of membranes

  • Frequent cervical examination (Sterile gloves should be used in examinations. Other than a history of cesarean delivery, this risk factor is most important in postpartum infection.)

  • Internal fetal monitoring

  • Preexisting pelvic infection including bacterial vaginosis

  • Nutritional status

  • Obesity

In the aforementioned study by Bauer et al, of approximately 45 million hospitalizations for delivery between 1998 and 2008, medical conditions that were found to be independently associated with severe sepsis included congestive heart failure, chronic kidney disease, chronic liver disease, and systemic lupus erythematosus. An association with rescue cerclage was also found. [9]

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