Sepsis

Luis D. Pacheco, Joost J. Zwart

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

1 Scopus citations

Abstract

Sepsis and pregnancy, Sepsis occurs as the result of a systemic maladaptive inflammatory response to an infectious insult. It is the leading cause of mortality in intensive care units (ICUs) in developed countries and the incidence is increasing worldwide [1]. Sepsis is also one of the leading causes of maternal mortality [2]. The incidence of death from severe sepsis in the obstetric population is lower than that of non-obstetric patients. The latter is likely secondary to a younger population with less coexisting medical pathologies. Pregnancy affects both humoral and cell-mediated immunological functions. The white blood cell count rises as pregnancy progresses, and some authors have described these neutrophils as “activated,” favoring severe inflammatory reactions to infectious stimuli [3]. Cellular immunity is compromised as a consequence of the decline in T-helper type 1 and natural killer cells. The decrease in cellular immunity predisposes pregnant women to infections from viruses and parasites. In contrast, antibody-mediated immunity is enhanced in pregnancy despite the fact that levels of immunoglobulins are depressed (likely from hemodilution). Pregnancy is not a state of generalized immunosuppression, instead, it is a state of immunomodulation, with compromised cellular and enhanced humoral immunity.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationMaternal Critical Care
Subtitle of host publicationA Multidisciplinary Approach
PublisherCambridge University Press
Pages346-355
Number of pages10
ISBN (Electronic)9781139088084
ISBN (Print)9781107018495
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 1 2011

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ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)

Cite this

Pacheco, L. D., & Zwart, J. J. (2011). Sepsis. In Maternal Critical Care: A Multidisciplinary Approach (pp. 346-355). Cambridge University Press. https://doi.org/10.1017/CBO9781139088084.032