(Int J Gynaecol Obstet. 2016;133(1):116–119)
Sepsis is defined as the systemic inflammatory response syndrome (SIRS) with an infectious etiology, including but not limited to bacteremia. Recent studies have confirmed that there is overlap between standard SIRS criteria and the normal physiology of pregnancy. In 2014, a customized obstetric sepsis screening tool was implemented for pregnant and postpartum women in Irish hospitals. These obstetric sepsis screening criteria differed from standard criteria in heart rate (≥100 beats/min, obstetric vs. >90 beats/minute, standard) and leukocyte count (<4.0 or >16.9×109/L, obstetric vs. <4.0 or >12.0×109/L, standard). The authors of the present study evaluated this customized obstetric SIRS screening tool and compared its effectiveness with that of the standard SIRS screening tool, for the diagnosis of maternal sepsis in the presence of maternal bacteremia.