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A blinded, randomized, placebo-controlled trial, published online May 13 in The Lancet, suggests that prophylactic antibiotic administration within 6 hours of assisted vaginal delivery can considerably reduce infection rates in the 6-week post-delivery period.
Marian Knight, MBChB, DPhil, FFPH, FRCPE, from the University of Oxford, United Kingdom, and colleagues, state, "From our results, a high proportion of women — almost one in five —experience an infective complication and this can be reduced by almost half,"
Investigators noted that only 11% (180/1619) of women in the antibiotic group developed an infection compared with 19% (306/1606) in the placebo group (risk ratio 0.58; 95% confidence interval, 0.49 – 0.69). Additionally, significantly less women in the antibiotic group reported perineal pain, need for perineal care, or wound breakdown in comparison with women in the placebo group.