Septic shock After Medical Abortion – Rare but Deadly
Many women with unplanned pregnancy are opting for medical abortion, in the belief (1) that they can avoid a surgical procedure with all its anticipated pain, injury and complications, and (2) that medical abortion being non-invasive is therefore safer.
Medical abortion has a more friendly profile, it has improved convenience, better privacy and less adverse effects. This is true for those with optimal response. To align with surgical abortion, optimal outcome is the complete expulsion of pregnancy contents within twelve hours after initiating medical abortion. This occurs in practice but in a minority.
Besides the unpredictable response with medical abortion, there are gathering reports of woman succumbing to severe infection. Toxic shock syndrome after medical abortion is rare, but it has high fatality. Clostridium species are responsible for most of the infections, follow by other common uro-genital organisms like Klebsiella pneumonia, Klebsiella aerogenes and Group A strep. The sepsis develops about ten days after medical abortion, suggesting delay clearance of pregnancy products predisposes.
To those who are considering medical abortion, it is crucial to maintain vaginal hygiene, complete the prescribed antibiotics and be vigilant of early sepsis.