A post C-section refers to an infection resulting after delivery by Cesarean section. This happens most often due to some bacterial infection in the site of surgery. It is important to identify the signs of C-section infections so that they can be treated on time. Delayed treatment may prove to be hazardous for the new mother.
What are some risk factors for C-section infections?
People who have these following conditions are more likely to get infected post a C-section:
- Taking steroids for a long time
- Diabetes or immunosuppressive disorders such as HIV
- Chorioamnionitis which refers to infection of fetal membrane and amniotic fluid at the time of labor
- Poor prenatal care
- Absence of pre-incision antimicrobial care
- A prolonged labor or surgery
- Extreme blood loss at the time of surgery, delivery, or labor.
What are the common signs and symptoms of a C-section infection?
The most common symptom is high fever, ranging between 100.5 degrees Fahrenheit to 103 degrees Fahrenheit. This together with inflammation in the area around the site, redness, and pain in the lower abdomen suggest that there may be an infection. It is essential to keep the wound clean and the patient must rest in sterile surroundings to avoid any chances of infection.
When you have a C-section delivery, you need to keep a regular lookout for the wound. In case you are unable to monitor this by yourself, you must ask someone to do it for you. This will help you detect early signs of an infection.
How to identify C-section infections
These are some symptoms you cannot afford to ignore when you have just had a C-section. You need to call your doctor right away if you experience any of these conditions:
- Acute abdominal pains
- Swelling and redness at the site of incision
- Discharge of pus from the site
- Pain in the incision site that gets worse or does not go away with medicines
- High fever, typically more than 103 degrees Fahrenheit
- Pain when urinating
- Vaginal discharge that has a foul smell
- Excess bleeding and clotting
- Leg pains or swelling in legs
Wounds coming in contact with harmful microbes and bacteria may be a cause for these conditions. There may be different causes for different infections like UTI’s or urinary tract infections or cellulitis. Most of these infections are usually detected before the patient is discharged from the nursing home.
To diagnose wound infections, the doctor will examine the wound appearance, how fast the wound is healing, presence of infection symptoms, and test for presence of bacteria. Sometimes, the wound may need to be opened to get a more accurate diagnosis. If there is pus discharge, this needs to be removed from wounds with a needle. Most infections are either cellulitis or abdominal abscess. But, if untreated, they can spread and affect other organs like blood, skin, and local tissues.