Young Irish Mother Dies
One Week After Giving Birth
Karen McEvoy died as a result of “multiorgan failure with septicemia” a coroner in Ireland reported. Karen had given birth to a baby girl on December 18th, her third baby. She visited a primary care clinic on December 21st because she was experiencing flu-like symptoms, severe back and pelvic pain, and sweats, she visited a hospital on December 23rd. On Christmas Day, she died. At no point did anyone ask: Could this be sepsis?
Sepsis is a leading cause of maternal death. Maternal sepsis usually occurs due to a severe bacterial infection of the uterus during pregnancy or immediately after childbirth. Though more common in developing countries, maternal sepsis is also prominent in developed countries, including the United States. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, maternal sepsis causes 12.7% of pregnancy-related deaths in the United States. Despite being highly preventable, maternal sepsis continues to be a major cause of death and morbidity for pregnant or recently pregnant women.