Pregnant Women With Diabetes May Have A Higher Risk For Infection


People who go to the hospital do not go thinking that they could contract an infection while there.  However, hospital patients can contract diseases such as methicillin resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA).  A new study has also shown that pregnant women who have diabetes are three times more likely than other patients without diabetes to develop hospital acquired infections.

MRSA is caused by a staph bacteria strain that has become resistant to the antibiotics that are commonly used to treat staph infections.  Patients who have been in hospitals or other health care settings, including nursing homes and dialysis centers, are the people most likely to contract MRSA infections.  The MRSA infections contracted in healthcare settings are usually more severe and potentially life-threatening.  These infections can include bloodstream infections, surgical site infections, or pneumonia.  Outside the healthcare setting, the most common MRSA infections are skin infections.  Symptoms include pustules or boils, and are often red, swollen, painful, or have pus or other drainage.  They can often appear to be spider bites.

Pregnant women who had diabetes prior to being pregnant, not expectant mothers who developed gestational diabetes, appeared to be a group more at risk for contracting hospital acquired infections such as MRSA.  In one study, data was analyzed from over 3.5 million delivery related hospital admissions across the country.  About five percent of new mothers developed gestational diabetes and one percent of women already had diabetes prior to becoming pregnant.

Among the expectant mothers who had given birth, there were 600 cases of MRSA.  Even though there was an association between pregnant women who had diabetes and an increase in the rate of MRSA infection, a cause and effect relationship was not established.  However, when this research is compared with previous research that showed an increased risk of certain infections in diabetic persons, it appears to be likely that diabetic would have a greater risk of contracting a MRSA infection when compared to other women admitted to the hospital to give birth.

Doctors should be aware of the potential risks posed to pregnant women who are diabetic.  Awareness of these risks could potentially decrease the potential for infection.

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