Single-dose compared with multiple day antibiotic prophylaxis for cesarean section in low-resource settings, a randomized controlled, noninferiority trial.

Research paper by Esther H M N EH Westen, Pascal R PR Kolk, Christine L CL van Velzen, Regine R Unkels, Nicholaus S NS Mmuni, Alex D AD Hamisi, Ritha E RE Nakua, Anne L M AL Vlek, Heleen J HJ van Beekhuizen

Indexed on: 30 Sep '14Published on: 30 Sep '14Published in: Acta Obstetricia et Gynecologica Scandinavica


To investigate the efficacy of a single prophylactic dose of ampicillin combined with metronidazole to prevent postcesarean section infections compared with a multiple day regimen in low-resource settings.An evaluator-blinded randomized, controlled, noninferiority trial.Two rural hospitals in Tanzania.Of 181 enrolled eligible women with an indication for cesarean section, information on 176 was analyzed by intention-to-treat.The women were randomly assigned to either the intervention group who received a single dose of ampicillin and metronidazole, or to the control group who received a multiple-day regimen of ampicillin/amoxicillin and metronidazole.The primary outcome was maternal postcesarean infection. Secondary outcomes were severity of these infections, other maternal complications, and the duration of hospital stay.In the intervention group (n = 89), six women (6.7%) developed a wound infection compared with nine (10.3%) in the control group (n = 87) (difference 3.60; 95% CI -4.65 to 11.85) (p = 0.40).A single dose of prophylactic ampicillin and metronidazole is equally effective as a multiple-day regimen in preventing postcesarean wound infections in low-resource settings, therefore it can be considered as a good strategy in low-resource settings. The reduced quantity of prophylactic antibiotics will reduce costs without increasing the risk of maternal infection.