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Understanding sepsis and why it can occur during labor

Giving birth can present many complications, and every delivery is unique. Some complications simply cannot be predicted by medical professionals. However, your health history, as well as factors such as your weight, age and blood pressure, could give clues about potential risks. It is the job of doctors and nurses to make the entire process of pregnancy and birth as low-risk as possible.

If complications arise during your delivery, this can put you at a higher risk of developing an infection. Infections can occur when equipment is inserted into the body that has not been fully sterilized. Sepsis can occur when bacteria enters your body.

What is septic shock and sepsis?

Septic shock can occur as a result of severe sepsis. Sepsis arises when bacteria enters the bloodstream. For pregnant women or women giving birth, sepsis can arise through a uterine infection, an abdominal infection or a kidney infection. It can also arise if the amniotic sac becomes infected.

What are the symptoms of septic shock?

When a person has septic shock, they usually get a high fever. Occasionally they get an extremely low body temperature and become hypothermic. Symptoms also include having a rapid heart rate and low blood pressure, and the patient will often feel restless and disorientated. They may also have difficulties with their breathing and may suffer shortness of breath and coughing.

How is septic shock treated?

Medical professionals will first make sure that the patient's blood is circulating properly by administering fluids. Antibiotics will then be given to fight the infections. It may be necessary to operate to remove organs that have been infected.

Can I take action as a result of negligence?

If you believe that you acquired sepsis because of unprofessional care from doctors and nurses, you may want to consider taking legal action. Medical providers have the legal obligation to have high hygiene standards to prevent infections, and it is likely that your care fell short of this if you contracted sepsis.

It is important that you conduct thorough research on the law on medical malpractice in Rhode Island as well as the damages that you may be able to gain if you are successful in your claim.

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