WSC Spotlight: Maternal Sepsis

Every pregnant (or recently pregnant) woman is at risk of an infection that could trigger sepsis, a leading cause of death for women. WHO has developed a standardised definition of maternal and neonatal sepsis to bring it in line with the current understanding of sepsis in the adult population: “maternal sepsis is a life-threatening condition defined as organ dysfunction resulting from infection during pregnancy, childbirth, post-abortion, or postpartum period”.

On 12 September 2017, the second session of the WSC Spotlight: Maternal and Neonatal Sepsis focused specifically on the new WHO definition of maternal sepsis and current research, knowledge and initiatives to better understand maternal sepsis and how to best suspect, treat and prevent it.

We are pleased to share the full video for the WSC Spotlight session on maternal sepsis here.

Note: To turn on subtitles in other languages, make sure you have selected CLOSED CAPTIONS on at the bottom right of the screen. Once that is selected, click on the wrench/settings icon and then click on SUBTITLES. Then select your preferred subtitle language


Chair: Arri Coomarasamy, University of Birmingham, United Kingdom

Maternal Sepsis — Challenges, Burden, Definition, and Identification

Joao Paulo Souza, WHO, Switzerland

Prevention and Management of Maternal Sepsis

David Lissauer, University of Birmingham, United Kingdom

Management of Maternal Septic Shock

Maria Fernanda Escobar Vidarte, FIGO, Colombia

The Global Maternal Sepsis Study

Mercedes Bonet, WHO, Switzerland

Addressing Maternal Sepsis in LMIC

Jeffrey Smith, Jhpiego, United States


You can access the full suite of materials shared at the WSC Spotlight: Maternal and Neonatal Sepsis on the WSC Youtube channel or via podcasts available in the Apple iTunes store. Please visit for the full release schedule.