Evaluation of the feasibility of the FAST-M maternal sepsis intervention in Pakistan: a protocol

Sheikh Irfan Ahmed, Raheel Sikandar, Rubina Barolia, Bakhtawar M. Hanif Khowaja, Kashif Ali Memon, James Cheshire, Catherine Dunlop, Arri Coomarasamy, Lumaan Sheikh, David Lissauer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)


Background: Maternal sepsis is a life-threatening condition, defined by organ dysfunction caused by infection during pregnancy, childbirth, and the postpartum period. It is estimated to account for between one-tenth and half (4.7% to 13.7%) of all maternal deaths globally. An international stakeholder group, including the World Health Organization, developed a maternal sepsis management bundle called “FAST-M” for resource-limited settings through a synthesis of evidence and international consensus. The FAST-M treatment bundle consists of five components: Fluids, Antibiotics, Source identification and control, assessment of the need to Transport or Transfer to a higher level of care and ongoing Monitoring (of the mother and neonate). This study aims to adapt the FAST-M intervention and evaluate its feasibility in Pakistan. Methods: The proposed study is a mixed method, with a before and after design. The study will be conducted in two phases at the Liaquat University of Medical and Health Sciences, Hyderabad. In the first phase (formative assessment), we will adapt the bundle care tools for the local context and assess in what circumstances different components of the intervention are likely to be effective, by conducting interviews and a focus group discussion. Qualitative data will be analyzed considering a framework method approach using NVivo version 10 (QSR International, Pty Ltd.) software. The qualitative results will guide the adaptation of FAST-M intervention in local context. In the second phase, we will evaluate the feasibility of the FAST-M intervention. Quantitative analyses will be done to assess numerous outcomes: process, organizational, clinical, structural, and adverse events with quantitative comparisons made before and after implementation of the bundle. Qualitative analysis will be done to evaluate the outcomes of intervention by conducting FGDs with HCPs involved during the implementation process. This will provide an understanding and validation of quantitative findings. Discussion: The utilization of care bundles can facilitate recognition and timely management of maternal sepsis. There is a need to adapt, integrate, and optimize a bundled care approach in low-resource settings in Pakistan to minimize the burden of maternal morbidities and mortalities due to sepsis.

Original languageEnglish
Article number130
JournalPilot and Feasibility Studies
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2022


  • Care bundle
  • Complex intervention
  • FAST-M intervention
  • Feasibility study
  • Low-resource setting
  • Maternal deaths
  • Maternal sepsis
  • Pakistan
  • Qualitative study
  • Sepsis bundle


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