2 - Qatar Critical Care Conference Proceedings
  • ISSN: 0253-8253
  • EISSN: 2227-0426


Background: Child fever or puerperal sepsis is a significant cause of maternal morbidity and mortality. It is a preventable maternal postpartum complication.1 Group A streptococcus (GAS) infection remains a significant cause for postpartum sepsis as it causes septic shock and multiple organ dysfunction (MODS). There has been a resurgence of severe puerperal GAS infections over the past two decades, although rare, it must be recognized early and treated aggressively. GAS is a common bacteria causing necrotizing fasciitis (NEF) in our region,2 but it caused NEF in only one postpartum patient which is a rarity.3,4,5 We report a case of puerperal GAS infection-causing NEF where the patient underwent multiple surgical debridements complicated with septic shock and MODS, and had a fairly positive outcome.

Case presentation: A 26-year old female presented to the emergency department 5 days postpartum with fever, tachycardia, tachypnea, borderline blood pressure, vaginal discharge, and severe pain in the right leg. Her physical examination revealed reddish discoloration of the right lower leg, which was edematous, warm, and extremely tender. The episiotomy wound looked dirty and infected. She had leukocytosis (29.2 × 103/μL), thrombocytopenia (44 × 103/μL), C-Reactive protein was elevated (322 mg/L), and serum lactic acid was 3.8 mmol/L. Her hepatic and renal parameter were elevated. She had a deranged coagulation profile. Post-partum sepsis was suspected and blood cultures were done. She was started on Tazocin® (Tazobactum+piperacillin), supplemented with oxygen, and resuscitated with intravenous fluids.

She was immediately taken for emergency surgical intervention, right leg debridement, and fasciotomy with exploration of the episiotomy wound was performed. Surgical findings were dirty colored fluid collection and loss of facial resistance which corroborated with NEF. Necrotic tissues were sent for histopathology and cultures, and clindamycin was started. Intraoperatively the patient became unstable, requiring double vasopressor (noradrenaline and vasopressin) to maintain the hemodynamics. Postoperatively the patient was kept sedated and ventilated in the intensive care unit (ICU). She required four debridements in the next two days despite which her right leg was not improving. Magnetic resonance imaging showed necrotizing fasciitis of the right thigh and leg. Tissue biopsy confirmed the diagnosis. Her blood and tissues showed growth of group A streptococcus. With family agreement, she underwent above right knee amputation, lateral and medial thigh compartment fasciotomy, and debridement on day five. She was oozing from the fasciotomy wounds and needed resuscitation with blood and blood products. She started to show signs of improvement and was weaned off from vasopressors and ventilator. Hepatic and renal functions improved (Figure 1 and Table 1). She was extubated on day 12, awake, hemodynamically stable, tolerated oral feeding, and was transferred to the surgical ward on day 19. She was discharged home on day 24 and was followed in surgical outpatient clinics.

Conclusion: Despite developments in infection control and strict aseptic precautions, GAS puerperal sepsis remains a potentially life-threatening infection especially when they present with rare conditions like NEF in the postpartum period. Early diagnosis, aggressive surgical management, and supportive medical care are important for a positive outcome.


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  • Article Type: Conference Abstract
Keyword(s): debridementepisiotomygroup A streptococcusmultiple organ dysfunction and post-partum
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