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Written by nan duval
(2/2/2010 2:06 p.m.)
in consequence of the missive, Possibly, but it's speculative nonetheless, penned by kathleen (elder)
while obviously not definitive, is, I hope, not inadmissible. The peripartum period is not limited to the few days before and after the delivery of a baby. There are some conditions that can occur within a couple of weeks of delivery. The most common cause of perinatal maternal death is still pulmonary embolus, which is markedly more common post partum than before. Risk factors for PE include pelvic or lower limb injury, altered coagulation (as occurs in pregnancy and doesn't resolve soon after)& prolonged bedrest. In terms of postpartum PE, it is more common in older women and those who have had larger numbers of babies.
My understanding of childbirth practices in the past includes longer periods of bedrest postpartum than we now consider healthy (precisely because of pulmonary embolism) or practical. Clots usually form in the legs during bedrest & are most likely to be launched to the lungs on resumption of ambulation. The leg discomfort of the clot formation can be overlooked in the midst of all the other discomforts of recovery from childbirth. Getting up, having a nice meal & walking around could have been the scenario for migration of the clot from leg to lung. I've seen it happen. Few deaths are more rapid than those from massive pulmonary emboli.
Once again, I admit that this is speculation, but it is informed speculation. When I read of a young woman dying I have to wonder why. I don't post this for the sake of argument, but because it is interesting.
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