I Gave Birth. Then a Life-Threatening Infection Landed Me Back in the Hospital  

Session Description: 

When Wall Street Journal reporter Laura Kusisto came home from the hospital with her newborn son last July, she had little idea how much could still go wrong. For two weeks Laura struggled to get treatment for symptoms that included a loss of appetite, weakness, fever, chills and a racing heart rate that doctors mistook for the complaints of a tired new mom. Finally, she was readmitted to the hospital with sepsis and an 18-centimeter pelvic abscess. Through her own experience and her research for a recent Wall Street Journal story, Laura has learned about why life-threatening health conditions, including sepsis, are too often overlooked in new moms. 


This session was originally presented in September 2021 as part of the 2021 Sepsis Alliance Summit.

Target Audience

Nurses, Advanced Practice Providers, Physicians, Emergency Responders, Pharmacists, Medical Technologists, Respiratory Therapists, Physical/ Occupational Therapist, Social Workers, Mental Health Professionals, Students, IT Professionals, Sepsis Survivors, Advocates, and more! 

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Laura Kusisto 

Maternal Sepsis Survivor, National Legal Affairs Reporter, The Wall Street Journal

Laura Kusisto is the national legal affairs reporter for The Wall Street Journal. In May, Laura wrote a story for the Journal about her experience with a life-threatening infection following the birth of her son, Jonah, and the holes in the postpartum care system in America. Laura is a co-recipient of the Newswomen's Club of New York's Nellie Bly award for a story about fatal errors in New York's coronavirus response. She has a master's degree in journalism from Columbia University and a master's degree in English from the University of Toronto, where she also completed her first year of law school. She lives in Brooklyn with her 1-year-old son, husband and two dogs. 

Karin Molander, MD, FACEP 

Emergency Physician, Mills Peninsula Emergency Medicine Associates

Sepsis Alliance Chair, Board of Directors 

Dr. Molander is a practicing emergency physician at Mills Peninsula Hospital in Burlingame California serving on the “front lines of sepsis care.” She initially became involved in the Mills Peninsula sepsis program in 2007 training intensivists in Early Goal Directed Therapy (EGDT) and central line placement. After joining the sepsis committee in 2009, she became chair in 2011 and then Sutter Peninsula Coastal Region Physician Lead in 2014. She facilitated a LEAN study for Sutter hospitals on sepsis that would translate from the community hospital to the tertiary academic facility developing EHR order sets, screening tools and Standards of Work. This Sepsis Initiative was sequentially launched at the Sutter Hospitals. She realized that in order to continue the success, she needed to educate her community. She has appeared on local public television’s Better Part program on KMTV on topics such as Advanced Directives, “What to expect in the ER”, Sepsis and Influenza. She has participated in the Bay Area Paramedic Journal Club Seminars, advocated for a San Mateo County Sepsis Alert which was approved in March 2019. And for the first time in its history the national EMS textbook has a chapter on Sepsis co-authored by Dr. Molander.  


No continuing education credits are offered for this session.

Medical Disclaimer

The information on or available through this site is intended for educational purposes only. Sepsis Alliance does not represent or guarantee that information on or available through this site is applicable to any specific patient’s care or treatment. The educational content on or available through this site does not constitute medical advice from a physician and is not to be used as a substitute for treatment or advice from a practicing physician or other healthcare provider. Sepsis Alliance recommends users consult their physician or healthcare provider regarding any questions about whether the information on or available through this site might apply to their individual treatment or care.

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This activity includes:

  • Pre-recorded presentation