Obstetrics / Caesarean section
Wound infection following Caesarean section
Kylie was an obese 35 year old woman in her 3rd pregnancy. Gestational diabetes was detected and the fetus was noted to be much larger than her previous babies. Spontaneous labour started at 41 weeks but, after a long first stage, failure to progress was diagnosed and Caesarean section was performed. She was discharged home, but was readmitted on the 6th day, with sepsis due to wound infection. Intravenous antibiotics did not resolve the problem and she went back to theatre for debridement of the wound, which was left open. Rapid improvement in her general condition followed, but she was left with an open wound that required daily dressings for two months. Wound infection is a recognised complication of all forms of surgery, and the bacteria usually originate from the patient. In this case, all the usual precautions to reduce the risk of infection had been taken and there was no evidence of breach of duty.
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