If mom and baby do not receive prompt care for chorioamnionitis, stillbirth can occur. Even with early intervention, it is still something that could potentially happen. Monitoring mom and baby early and thoroughly throughout the labor, delivery, and postpartum periods can significantly reduce this risk.
What Is Chorioamnionitis?
Chorioamnionitis, at its basic level, is inflammation of the chorion, the amnion, and the amniotic fluid. The chorion and amnion are layers of the amniotic sac of a fetus, and the amniotic fluid is what surrounds the fetus.
Infant Chorioamnionitis Causes
There are several ways this can happen. The most common cause is when the membranes have ruptured, more commonly known as the water breaking. “Water breaking” can be spontaneous in nature or it can occur as a more gradual leak. Both versions can yield the same results.
Once the membranes are ruptured, there is approximately a 24-hour window before infection can set in. This puts both mom and baby at significant risk for complications, and it is only one vector for bacteria to enter.
The second way for bacteria to get in is by a pre-existing vaginal infection. This can be in the form of diseases such as herpes and syphilis during pregnancy. This is part of what makes prenatal care so important. Lab work can be done ahead of time to rule these infections out.
This is a diagnostic test that involves inserting a needle into the placenta to draw up and test amniotic fluid. This can specifically help in diagnosing conditions with the fetus, such as Down’s syndrome and Tay-Sachs disease.
While there are blood tests for specific markers for these diseases, such as alpha-fetoprotein, they are not always accurate and can have a chance of being falsely positive. Amniocentesis removes that risk but can pose other risks, such as chorioamnionitis. Please visit this website for more information about infant chorioamnionitis causes.
Diagnosis of chorioamnionitis and a subsequent stillborn baby is going to depend on a number of factors. You’ll need to estimate gestational age to determine the viability of the fetus. You’ll also need a health history on mom, such as whether she has a history of infections and approximately when she noticed her water breaking or fluid leaking.
Some of the main presenting factors for chorioamnionitis are similar to those of a general infection. Mom’s heart rate is going to be rapid, she may be running a fever, and there will be a foul odor to any leaking fluid or discharge. She may also have abdominal pains that are going to feel different from her contractions.
A key factor in treatment is to deliver the baby as soon as possible. Labor induction is done regardless of gestational age in order to improve the prognosis for both mom and baby. The infected placenta is removed from the mom, and the baby can be monitored and treated as necessary.
Vaginal births are not contraindicated if they can be done safely, but a cesarean section may also need to be considered. Having neonatal specialists on standby is also crucial to provide the best outcome for the baby.
In the postpartum period, both the placenta and baby should have cultures run to find the most effective antibiotic treatment. Broad-spectrum antibiotics can be utilized pending a completed culture report. It is not uncommon to have a combination treatment of different antibiotics.
After the initiation of antibiotic treatment, both patients should be monitored for the onset of a fever or other signs of infection. Education should also be given on how to care for the newborn, including any special instructions for premature care, as well as how to prevent this issue from occurring in the future.
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With a law degree under his belt and years of experience, Mark Scott set off to make the law more accessible to all. He decided to help people lost in the maze of legal terminology to find their way. Mark writes clear and concise pieces and gives simple advice that is easy to follow. On account of positive feedback from readers, he decided to dedicate more of his time to this goal and became a legal columnist. In his writings, Mark covers a wide array of topics, like how to seek legal counsel, or how to deal with different procedures. Furthermore, he directs his readers toward other trustworthy resources for more in-depth information.