New research has found the correct timing of antibiotics in a caesarean can cut infection rate at the surgical site in half.
Researchers at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis and Barnes-Jewish Hospital found that giving antibiotics before cesarean section surgery rather than just after the newborn’s umbilical cord is clamped cuts the infection rate at the surgical site in half.
Infectious disease specialist David K. Warren, MD explained: “We followed more than 8,000 women over an eight-year period, and our findings support giving antibiotics just before a cesarean section to prevent infections.
“Until recently, standard practice in the U.S. was to give antibiotics when the baby was delivered, after the umbilical cord was clamped.”
The study, published in Obstetrics & Gynecology, could lead to a reform in the way antibiotics are given. Previously, medical practitioners have waited until after the surgery because of concern that these drugs might hide the sign of blood infection in a newborn.
However, new results have suggested that giving antibiotics in the hour before surgery both reduced the risk of infection in the mother and had no effect on the health of the infant.