FeatureSepsis in Obstetrics Pathophysiology and Diagnostic DefinitionsParfitt, Sheryl E. MSN, RNC-OB; Bogat, Mary L. MSN, RNC-OB; Hering, Sandra L. MSN, RNC-OB, CPHIMS; Roth, Cheryl PhD, WHNP-BC, RNC-OB, RNFAAuthor Information Sheryl E. Parfitt is a Clinical Educator, HonorHealth Scottsdale Shea Medical Center, Scottsdale, AZ. The author can be reached via e-mail at [email protected] Mary L. Bogat is a Staff Nurse, HonorHealth Scottsdale Shea Medical Center, Scottsdale, and Clinical Instructor, Scottsdale Community College, Scottsdale, Arizona State University, Tempe, AZ. Sandra L. Hering is a Informatics Support Specialist, HonorHealth Scottsdale Shea Medical Center, Scottsdale, AZ. Cheryl Roth is a Nurse Practitioner, HonorHealth Scottsdale Shea Medical Center, Scottsdale, AZ. The authors declare no conflicts of interest. MCN, The American Journal of Maternal/Child Nursing: July/August 2017 - Volume 42 - Issue 4 - p 194-198 doi: 10.1097/NMC.0000000000000339 Buy Metrics AbstractIn Brief In spite of many medical breakthroughs, sepsis continues to be challenging to identify, treat, and successfully resolve, including among the obstetric population. Sepsis is the result of an overactive, complex inflammatory response that is not completely understood. Currently there are no nationally agreed-upon criteria for systemic inflammatory response syndrome or sepsis in pregnant or peripartum women, as the physiologic changes of pregnancy have not been taken into consideration. This article is the first in a series of three that discuss the importance of sepsis and septic shock in pregnancy. The focus of this article is to understand the proposed pathophysiology of sepsis and new definitions associated with sepsis and septic shock. Knowledge of these conditions can assist in better identification of sepsis in the obstetric population. Sepsis in obstetrics can be challenging to identify in a timely manner so that appropriate treatment can be initiated within the first crucial hours to promote a positive outcome. The proposed pathophysiology of sepsis, new definitions associated with sepsis and septic shock, and application to maternity care are presented. Wolters Kluwer Health, Inc. All rights reserved.