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What Are Common Causes of Postpartum Maternal Infection?

Posted on in Maternal Injuries

Chicago maternal infection lawyerBefore modern medicine, roughly a third of women died during pregnancy or childbirth. Current medical standards of care make this a number almost impossible to fathom; the vast majority of present-day childbirths go well, even when the mother and infant are facing serious complications. But when doctors, nurses, midwives, or hospitals are ill-prepared to respond to complex situations, mothers can still suffer serious injuries during and after childbirth. 

One of the most common causes of postpartum injuries still associated with childbirth and its aftermath are maternal infections; while these are not always avoidable, they are often a consequence of poor medical treatment during childbirth, especially during complicated deliveries and recoveries. If left undetected or improperly treated, these infections can lead to serious injuries, including maternal death. To learn more about common causes of postpartum maternal infections, read on and then contact an Illinois birth injuries lawyer. 

Common Postpartum Infection Causes

Whether a mother delivers vaginally or via C-section, tears and open sores are common features of a post-pregnancy body. If nothing else, the site in the uterus from which the placenta detaches is a potential area of infection until it heals. Other causes of infection include: 

  • Cervical lacerations
  • Vaginal and perineal tears 
  • Uterine muscle and lining damage 
  • Kidney or bladder infections from catheterization 
  • C-section incisions that were improperly stitched together
  • Ruptured membranes from prolonged labor
  • Retained placenta 

Doctors are responsible for noticing and responding to these threats with appropriate caution and treatment, including careful follow-up treatment. When doctors are in a rush, working carelessly, under the influence of drugs or alcohol, or too tired to treat a patient with the standard of care, they can cause serious damage. 

Know the Signs of Postpartum Infections

Postpartum, or puerperal, infections can be difficult to distinguish from regular symptoms of the often-painful recovery process after childbirth. However, there are distinct warning signs that an infection is present. These include: 

  • Fever
  • Flu-like symptoms, like a persistent headache and chills
  • Pelvic or abdominal pain that is not getting better
  • Painful urination and bladder cramping 
  • Swelling, redness, and discharge from a C-section incision 
  • Smelly vaginal discharge
  • Bleeding, especially with heavy clotting  

Postpartum infections require urgent treatment with antibiotics and careful monitoring to ensure the infection goes away. 

Call a Cook County Birth Injury Lawyer 

If you have suffered from an infection because of poor healthcare during or following childbirth, you may be able to take action against the person or organization responsible. To find out more about your options, call the experienced team of Chicago birth injury attorneys with Birth Injury Law Alliance, Ltd.. We have helped many families pursue justice after irresponsible or careless medical treatment and we want to help you, too. Call us today at 312-462-4200 to schedule a free, no-pressure consultation. 

 

Sources: 

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK560804/

https://www.whattoexpect.com/first-year/postpartum-health-and-care/postpartum-infection/

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