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Dr. Lawrence
Dr. Lawrence, OB/GYN
Category: OB GYN
Satisfied Customers: 846
Experience:  Board Certified OB/GYN and accomplished educator
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How long can you carry a dead fetus before chancing septic

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How long can you carry a dead fetus before chancing septicemia?

Dr. Lawrence :

Hello, and thank you for your question. I will be happy to assist you. Answers are for educational purposes only.

Dr. Lawrence :

I am so sorry to hear about your daughter's loss. I know how hard this must be for you and your family. I would like to express my condolences.

Dr. Lawrence :

Spontaneous labor will often start within a couple of weeks of a loss. However, waiting too long can actually lead to a condition called DIC. This is a bleeding condition caused by a release of a substance from the placenta into mom's blood. It causes a consumption of her clotting factor and can lead uncontrolled bleeding.

Dr. Lawrence :

This condition typically is at highest risk for happening after a four week delay, but it can happen sooner.

Dr. Lawrence :

The risk for infection is higher once the water breaks, so a delay now, with the membranes intact is not a concern for septicemia.

Dr. Lawrence :

The hardest part about a delay in delivery is the emotional aspect on your daughter and your family.

Dr. Lawrence :

If it is too much to wait, then you could suggest trying again sooner than another week. But if emotionally you all are doing well, then waiting the week is likely not to be harmful from a medical standpoint.

Dr. Lawrence :

I would recommend that she have her blood factors tested as a baseline, especially at the beginning of her induction so that they are prepared if things change if she has evidence of DIC.

Dr. Lawrence :

She should be typed and crossed for blood in the unlikely case that she will need any blood products.

Dr. Lawrence :

Also, if induction is too difficult, then she could consider a surgical dilation and evacuation of the pregnancy if there is someone who is experienced available to do that for her at her gestational age.

Dr. Lawrence :

I hope this information is helpfu. I am available to answer any questions that you may have or clarify any of my responses. Once again, I want to express my most sincere condolences for your loss. If I can provide any additional information, please ask.

Dr. Lawrence :

Are you having difficulty with the chat mode?

Customer:

Thank you for the information. I fell somewhat better now. Yes, emotionally it is hard, but she seems to be handling it well. Again, thank you for your help.

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