Third New Mother in 10 Days Has Uterus Removed

Sheba Medical Center says it doesn't expect to find any further cases of infection.

A view of Sheba Medical Center at Tel Hashomer outside Tel Aviv.
Tomer Appelbaum

A third new mother had to have her uterus removed on Tuesday after contracting a bacterial infection, possibly from a doctor who didn’t know he was carrying the bacteria.

She is the third woman in the last 10 days to have her womb removed after contracting an infection while giving birth at Sheba Medical Center in Tel Hashomer. Doctors said the operations were necessary to save the women’s lives.

After the first two infections were discovered, Sheba contacted all the women who had given birth there recently to see if they also had symptoms of Streptococcus A. Five women were summoned to the hospital for further testing, and one had her uterus removed Tuesday. But the hospital said that while she had a severe infection, it found no signs of strep in her womb, so her case may be unrelated to the others.

Sheba also said it’s now certain that the first woman to have her womb removed didn’t contract her infection from the doctor in question, as the two were carrying different strains of strep. The second woman, however, had the same strain as the doctor.

Sheba said it didn’t expect to find any further cases of infection. It added that postpartum infections happen periodically in all hospitals.

The first infection was discovered 10 days ago, when a woman who had given birth at Sheba nine days earlier came to Petah Tikva’s Beilinson Hospital with a raging infection. Beilinson informed Sheba, which said it began testing doctors and patients in its obstetrics ward. A week later a second new mother was diagnosed with an infection and had to have her womb removed.