Guideline: Women need antibiotics before C-section
Posted: Wednesday, August 25, 2010 8:01 pm
WASHINGTON (AP) — Women who need a C-section should get antibiotics before, not after, they’re cut — preferably within an hour of the start of surgery, says a new guideline for the nation’s obstetricians.
Infection occurs in 10 percent to 40 percent of women who undergo a cesarean delivery, making it the most common complication, according to the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists. In comparison, 3 percent or fewer women who deliver vaginally get an infection.
Antibiotics have long been given for C-sections to reduce that risk, but usually not until right after the baby was born. That was a precaution in case the antibiotics made it into the baby’s bloodstream and prevented newborn testing from spotting an already brewing infection; another concern was the potential to spur antibiotic-resistant germs.
ACOG’s new guideline, released Monday, cited recent studies that concluded an intravenous infusion of antibiotics before surgery reduces the chance of a mother’s infection without harming the newborn. The guideline, published in the journal Obstetrics & Gynecology, said women who need an emergency C-section should get the antibiotics as soon as possible, while those already taking antibiotics for another reason are exempt.
Published in The Messenger 8.25.10