Meningitis From Epidural

7 Replies
CamysMama - June 4

I knew there was a reason I hate to watch tv... I just watched a Dateline about a woman who died from Meningitis she contracted after being given an epidural. Her son was born perfectly fine, but she died that very night! Of course now I'm terrified of epidurals, and even more afraid than I already was of hospitals. My baby is due in September, and I've been debating the pain med question. Has anyone ever heard of this happening, or is it one of those "one in a million" chances?


se7en_amber - June 5

i've never heard of that...all the videos that i've ever seen..the worst that could happen is some hardcore bad headaches or migraines but that's slim to none. i've had an epidural with my first child and i was terrified of thinking about getting one, but once i was in labor it wasn't a big deal. It wasn't scary at all...I think the videos make it look WAY worse than it just feels like a pinch when u get it...hope that helps a little ;-)


Cloud 9 Doula - June 5

No it's not a one in a million thing. There are a lot of complications that can occur from epidurals. You might want to look into getting a doula for your birth if you are scared. They can give you more specific pros and cons as well as help you get through labor more comfortably.


GraphxGirl - June 5

I watched the same show last night and at the end they still did not know what caused her to have the infection. They don't even know if it was contracted from the hospital or if she had it before she went there and if in fact it was from the hospital, it don't necessarily mean it came from the epidural procedure itself but more than likely would have been the staff not being careful or sterile enough which caused an infection. But either way they could not say for sure what caused it so don't let this scare you into not having an epidural. If you would have watched the entire show you would have seen that it was not clear on what caused her meningitis and they are still trying to find out what happened.


CamysMama - June 5

Thanks for your responses, girls! Actually, GraphxGirl I did watch the whole show. I know that the hospital denied they were in any way responsible for her death, but I guess I just didn't buy it that she walked into that hospital with the infection because she had perfect vitals, no elevated temperature or anything, and if she had been infected when she was admitted she most certainly would have had an elevated temperature, if not more evident symptoms. If it had just been the staff not being sterile, and she had not had an epidural, she may have developed a different kind of infection... but spinal meningitis? It seems clear to me (though I admit I am not a medical professional) that the only way the bacteria could have trasferred to her spinal fluid and then moved to her brain was either through the procedure of the epidural itself, or by infection at the site of the catheter (meaning the hole in her spinal column caused by the epidural.) Okay I agree that there is no way to prove this without doubt, and I'm probably just over-reacting, but I'll tell you one thing: as frightened as I am of labor, it's not the pain I'm afraid of! What I'm afraid of is the invasive procedures they might try to force me into at the hospital. I think having your baby at home is dangerous too, but at least you wouldn't have to worry about people cutting you open for no good reason, or giving you a lethal infection! I am still going to deliver my baby at a hospital, because I want to be there in case something really does go wrong with the delivery, but I just hope that my being there won't be the CAUSE of something going wrong!!! Okay, sorry for the freak-out everybody, I'm trying to calm myself down now because I still have 3 months left to stress over what to expect when I go into labor.


krista-lee - June 5

where im from its mandatory to have a vaccination for meningitis. you can actually contract it from anything, most likely it wasnt just because of the epi "]


CamysMama - June 6

Hi Krista-lee, I didn't realize you could be vaccinated for Meningitis! Shows how much I know about the disease. Thanks for the imput!!! :o)


karebears - September 14

I got bacterial meningitis from an epidural when i had my son in 1999. I had 5 children after that & was to scared to get another epidural even though i know it was a rare event. Now im due w my 8th & i really want to get an epidural but again worried but also worried about going through the pain of childbirth. My youngest is 6 so its been a while.



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