Serious infection associated with induced abortion in the United States

Clin Obstet Gynecol. 2012 Dec;55(4):888-92. doi: 10.1097/GRF.0b013e31826fd8f8.


Though serious infection after induced abortion is rare, infections account for one third of abortion-related deaths in the United States. Most fatal cases of infection after induced medical abortion have involved clostridial species. These reported cases share important clinical features that may guide clinicians to earlier recognition and institution of therapy. This article reviews our current knowledge regarding serious clostridial infections postabortion including the typical clinical presentation, pathophysiology, modes of diagnosis, and available treatment.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Abortion, Induced / adverse effects*
  • Abortion, Induced / mortality
  • Anti-Bacterial Agents / therapeutic use
  • Clostridium Infections / diagnosis*
  • Clostridium Infections / microbiology*
  • Clostridium Infections / mortality
  • Clostridium Infections / therapy
  • Clostridium perfringens*
  • Clostridium sordellii*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • United States / epidemiology


  • Anti-Bacterial Agents