Maternal Infection could be Halved if Antibiotics are Given

Sepsis is a problem in the UK.

According to an article recently published in the Daily Mail, sepsis is the biggest cause of maternal death in the UK

When it comes to childbirth, assisted births (forceps or ventouse) increase the risk of sepsis.

A study has revealed that if antibiotics were given to mothers who have had an assisted birth, their risk of sepsis would be halved. This preventative dose of antibiotics would cut maternal infection by 7,000 a year in the UK.

According to the Daily Mail, one in eight births are currently assisted amounting to 85,000 a year. One in five of these women go on to develop an infection. Scientists at the University of Oxford discovered that only one in ten women got an infection if they were given antibiotics straight after childbirth.

It would appear that the benefit of giving all women who have an assisted birth preventative antibiotics outweighs the cost in monetary terms. According to research, adopting such a policy would save the NHS an average of £52.60 per birth.

The antibiotics reduced the risk of stitches becoming infected or bursting which would reduce the burden placed on the GP, nurses, midwives and hospital if wound healing was uneventful.

It is hoped that the NHS adopts the suggested guidelines in respect of antibiotics being routinely prescribed for mother’s who have assisted births.

Researchers point to the fact that hospitals give antibiotics routinely for a caesarean. According to the Daily Mail, giving antibiotics before a
caesarean section has been found to reduce wound infection, endometriosis and serious maternal infection by 60 to 70 per cent.

Researches noted that in 2016, an estimated 19,500 women died because of pregnancy-related infections around the world. Apparently, for every women who dies from a pregnancy-related infection, another 70 women develop an infection severe enough to cause long-term problems.

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