Antibiotics Now Recommended Before C-Sections

This article has not necessarily been edited by Health24.

WEDNESDAY, Aug. 25 (HealthDay News) -- Pregnant women about to undergo a cesarean delivery should be given antibiotics right before the procedure to help prevent infections, the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists now recommends.

Infection is the most common complication of cesarean delivery and occurs in 10 percent to 40 percent of women who have the procedure, compared with 1 percent to 3 percent of women who deliver vaginally, according to the college.

Typically, antibiotics were only given after a cesarean delivery because it was believed that if they were given prior to birth, they would make their way into the baby's blood and interfere with newborn lab tests or lead to antibiotic-resistant infections in the newborn.

"Based on the latest data, prophylactic antibiotics given to pregnant women before a cesarean significantly reduce maternal infection and do not appear to harm newborns," Dr. William H. Barth, Jr., chair of the ACOG's Committee on Obstetric Practice, said in a college news release.

"We're recommending that all women who undergo cesarean get a preventive course of antibiotics before the surgery starts. Ideally, this should happen within 60 minutes of surgery," he added.

Women who require an emergency cesarean should be given antibiotics as soon as possible, according to the new recommendation.

However, the recommendation would not apply to pregnant women who are already taking antibiotics for another condition, Barth noted.

The new recommendation will be published in the September issue of the journal Obstetrics & Gynecology.

More information

The Nemours Foundation has more about cesarean section.


(Copyright © 2010 HealthDay. All rights reserved.)

We live in a world where facts and fiction get blurred
In times of uncertainty you need journalism you can trust. For only R75 per month, you have access to a world of in-depth analyses, investigative journalism, top opinions and a range of features. Journalism strengthens democracy. Invest in the future today.
Subscribe to News24
Voting Booth
Have you entered our Health of the Nation survey?
Please select an option Oops! Something went wrong, please try again later.
Results
Yes
33% - 9324 votes
No
67% - 18756 votes
Vote