As reported by Medical News Today, pregnant women who develop chorioamnionitis, an infection of the placenta or nearby membranes, in their first pregnancy have twice the risk of getting it in their second pregnancy, researchers at the UT Southwestern Medical Center in Dallas, Texas (UT Southwestern) have found.
Chorioamnionitis occurs in 0.5 percent to 10 percent of births and can cause maternal bleeding as well as widespread infection in both mother and fetus, possibly resulting in cerebral palsy. If the infection develops during the pregnancy, then efforts to deliver the fetus must be undertaken immediately, sometimes prematurely, in order to preserve its health. There is a direct correlation between the length of time between rupture of the amniotic membranes and birth and the risk of infection – the longer the interval between rupture and birth, the higher the risk for infection at the time of birth. The infection can also take root prior to membrane rupture.
The study involved 28,410 women who gave birth at Parkland Memorial Hospital, Dallas, Texas, and indicates that there may be one or more intrinsic risk factors that predispose women to chorioamnionitis, such as the genetic makeup of their immune response or stronger bacteria in their genital tracts. “We do believe that there probably is a genetic component that predisposes women to intrauterine infection,” said Dr. Vanessa Laibl, assistant professor of obstetrics and gynecology at UT Southwestern and lead author of the study. “We also believe that certain women could be colonized with bacteria that are more virulent and more likely to cause infection.”
For more information on this study, please see the UT Southwestern release. If you, your child or other family member has suffered injuries in connection with childbirth involving chorioamnionitis or other medcial issue, please contact us on-line at Regan Zambri & Long or call us at (202) 463-3030 for a free consultation. If you would like to receive our electronic newsletter, please click here.