Sexual and reproductive health

Managing puerperal sepsis

Education material for teachers of midwifery: midwifery education modules. – 2nd ed.

World Health Organization

Front cover

Publication details

Number of pages: 147
Publication date: 2008
Languages: English, Portuguese
ISBN: 978 92 4154666 9 - Web only


This module begins with an explanation of the problem of puerperal sepsis. The content then covers the factors which contribute to the infection, how it can be identified and differentiated from other conditions, how it can be prevented and, if it does occur, how it can be managed. A session on HIV and AIDS, related to childbearing women, is also included.

The skills specific to preventing and managing puerperal sepsis include: identification of risk factors; identification of symptoms and signs; taking a midstream specimen of urine; taking a high vaginal swab; and maintaining vulval hygiene. The general skills in this module include: taking and recording observations; taking blood samples for analysis; setting up and monitoring an intravenous infusion; maintaining fluid balance; universal precautions for prevention of infection; administering necessary drugs; preventing thromboembolic disorder; and maintaining records.

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