Intended for healthcare professionals


Sepsis guidance may change as result of deaths of two women from herpes infection after giving birth

BMJ 2021; 375 doi: (Published 23 November 2021) Cite this as: BMJ 2021;375:n2881
  1. Gareth Iacobucci
  1. The BMJ

Clinical advice on how to treat new mothers with sepsis could change after two women died of a postpartum herpesvirus infection.

The Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists said viral infections must routinely be considered as a possible cause of postpartum infection. The advice came after it emerged that Kimberley Sampson, 29, and Samantha Mulcahy, 32, had died from HSV-1, an infection caused by the herpes virus, 44 days apart at East Kent Hospitals University NHS Foundation Trust in 2018. In both cases clinical staff thought the women had bacterial sepsis.

The college said it could …

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