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Authors

  1. Sosa, Mary Ellen Burke RNC-OB, MS

Abstract

There has been an increasing incidence worldwide of invasive group A streptococcal disease in pregnancy and the puerperal period over the past 30 years. Group A Streptococcus (GAS) was identified as the major cause of maternal morbidity and mortality from sepsis before the identification that hand washing techniques could prevent the transmission of the bacteria. Hand washing remains the cornerstone of prevention as transmission can occur directly from an asymptomatic colonized healthcare provider, other patients, or a community-acquired source. Pregnancy and the puerperal period are associated with significant maternal physiologic changes that must be identified and clarified to identify signs and symptoms of GAS so that treatment can be initiated at the earliest moment. Treatment of group A streptococcal sepsis follows the guidelines developed under the Surviving Sepsis Campaign model. Maternal outcomes are improved by identifying risk factors and working with the perinatal team to implement rapid intervention. Even with prompt treatment of invasive group A Streptococcus, it remains the most common cause of infection that results in severe maternal morbidity and death in the world.