Former Kansas City Chief Cheerleader, Krystal Anderson Died From Maternal Sepsis

Earlier this week, we mentioned the tragic death of 40-year-old Krystal Anderson, who was a former Kansas City Chief Cheerleader. Anderson passed away after delivering her stillborn daughter, Charlotte Willow, according to USA Today.
What Happened To Krystal?
Anderson was hospitalized starting with the 21st week of pregnancy and had undergone three surgeries while there. And it was unclear what the source of her sepsis was. Anderson passed away on March 20th, surrounded by her loved ones.
The Mayo Clinic defines sepsis as a serious condition in which the body responds improperly to an infection. The infection-fighting processes turn on the body, causing the organs to work poorly. Symptoms of sepsis include fast, shallow breathing, sweating, lightheadedness, and shivering. However, sepsis can sometimes be effectively treated if caught early.
If it isn’t, the condition can progress to septic shock and can damage the lungs, kidneys, and other organs. Symptoms of septic shock include not being able to stand, sleepiness, and confusion.
Why Aren’t We Being Taken Seriously?
Last year, The Associated Press did a multipart series, Chapter One: Why So Many Black Women Die in Pregnancy? One Reason: Doctors Don’t Take Them Seriously
“Sepsis in its early stages can mirror common pregnancy symptoms, so it can be hard to diagnose. Due to a lack of training, some medical providers don’t know what to look for.” Kat Stafford, the author of the piece, writes. “But slow or missed diagnoses are also the result of bias, structural racism in medicine and inattentive care that leads to patients, particularly Black women, not being heard.”
What Might Put Us At Increased Risk
According to the Sepsis Alliance, any of the following factors may put us at risk for maternal sepsis:

Invasive test during pregnancy
Pre-term delivery
Prolong or obstructed delivery
Ruptured membranes or water breaking several hours before birth
Postpartum Hemmorhage
Retaining placenta
Multiple gestations (twins or more)

Symptoms of Maternal Sepsis
According to the National Institutes of Health, maternal sepsis can present with multiple and varied symptoms such as lethargy, chills and rigors, generalized malaise, rashes, lower abdominal or pelvic pain, foul lochia, contractions, malodorous or discolored leaking of fluid from the vagina, and breast engorgement. fever or hypothermia, tachycardia, hypotension, uterine tenderness, preterm labor or preterm pre-labor rupture of membranes, altered mental status, and end-organ dysfunction.


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