Pediatric and Maternal Sepsis Developments

On June 9, the organization End Sepsis: The Legacy of Rory Staunton, the state Department of Health (DOH), and the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) presented a webinar on methods used and major findings from an analysis on maternal sepsis cases in New York State. 

Between 2016 and 2018, the state Department of Health partnered with End Sepsis on the dataset linking the Statewide Planning and Research Cooperative System (SPARCS) and Vital Statistics datasets. DOH identified associations between hospitalizations for maternal sepsis and hospital and patient characteristics to identify potentially at-risk target populations. Their analysis included data from live and stillbirths and examined demographics, hospital characteristics, comorbidities, and delivery/obstetric characteristics.  

Initial findings of note include:

  • Women less than 20 years old at time of birth had significantly higher odds of developing maternal sepsis as compared to women ages 20-35.
  • All women with an education level below a four-year college degree had significantly higher odds of developing maternal sepsis across all windows. This is more pronounced among women with less than high school education. 
  • Black, Hispanic and Asian women had significantly higher odds of developing maternal sepsis compared to White women.
  • Women with C-sections had significantly increased odds of sepsis during delivery and postpartum.

The findings of the analysis will be shared more broadly when it becomes public in the summer of 2021.

In addition, speakers from ACOG discussed relevant bundles and recognition and treatment for this population. You can view the complete webinar by clicking here.

End Sepsis plans to continuously update their webpage with information from the DOH analysis as it is made public.

Pediatric sepsis research

Meanwhile, new research in the Journal of Hospital Pediatrics finds that children who received surgery during the first part of the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020 developed life-threatening sepsis at higher rates than pre-pandemic. A detailed report of this study was shared by Modern Healthcare last week.

Although reasons for the increase are only speculative, the authors suggest some factors including delayed care, due to the pandemic, resulting in more severe disease states “when surgeries finally happened” as well as delays in postoperative management due to “changes in workflow and personnel and need for personal protective equipment for hospital staff.”

HCA recognizes the serious risk that sepsis poses to individuals of all ages, especially children. Aided with a new 2021 grant from the Mother Cabrini Health Foundation, HCA and a workgroup are developing a Pediatric Sepsis Screening Tool to be used by providers across the post-acute care continuum.  

Currently, final drafts of the tool are being vetted and we are planning to undergo beta testing with support from the HCA grant soon. The beta test process will allow us to further analyze and refine the tool, as necessary, while taking into consideration the expert opinion of home care clinicians throughout the state.  

If you are interested in joining this workgroup or if you are interested in participating in our upcoming beta test, please reach out to Lauren Ford at 

An additional opportunity for sepsis education on Sepsis Tech & Innovation: Inspiring Breakthroughs in Care, hosted by Sepsis Alliance and presented by T2 Biosystems, will be held on June 22 and 23. You can register here. 


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