What is the role of lab testing in the workup 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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Laboratory studies are directed at elucidating the severity of illness as well as the etiology of the infection. Mild cases of mastitis usually do not require laboratory investigation. Wound infections and infections of the genital tract makes it more difficult to ascertain the extent of involvement.

Laboratory studies should include the following:

  • Complete blood count

  • Electrolytes

  • Blood cultures, if sepsis is suspected

  • Urinalysis, with cultures and sensitivity tests

  • Cervical or uterine cultures

  • Wound cultures, if appropriate

  • Lactate, if sepsis suspected

  • Coagulation studies, if pelvic thrombosis, deep vein thrombosis, pulmonary embolism, or invasive treatment (eg, surgical procedure) is being considered

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