Send to

Choose Destination
Rev Bras Ter Intensiva. 2013 Oct-Dec;25(4):334-44. doi: 10.5935/0103-507X.20130056.

Sepsis and pregnancy: do we know how to treat this situation?

[Article in English, Portuguese]


Sepsis is defined as an acute inflammatory response syndrome secondary to an infectious focus. It has a high incidence, morbidity and mortality, causing substantial financial costs, especially due to complications such as septic shock and multiple organ dysfunction. The pathogen toxins associated with individual susceptibility culminate with cytokine release, which promotes a systemic inflammatory response that can progress to multiple organ dysfunction and eventual patient death. Specifically, sepsis incidence, morbidity and mortality are lower in pregnant women, as this group is typically younger with fewer comorbidities having a polymicrobial etiology resulting in sepsis. Pregnant women exhibit physiological characteristics that may confer specific clinical presentation and laboratory patterns during the sepsis course. Thus, a better understanding of these changes is critical for better identification and management of these patients. The presence of a fetus also requires unique approaches in a pregnant woman with sepsis. Sepsis treatment is based on certain guidelines that were established after major clinical trials, which, unfortunately, all classified pregnancy as a exclusion criteria. Thus, the treatment of sepsis in the general population has been extrapolated to the pregnant population, with the following main goals: maintenance of tissue perfusion with fluid replacement and vasoactive drugs (initial resuscitation), adequate oxygenation, control of the infection source and an early start of antibiotic therapy, corticosteroid infusion and blood transfusion when properly indicated, prophylaxis, and specifically monitoring and maintenance of fetal heath.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Scientific Electronic Library Online Icon for PubMed Central
Loading ...
Support Center