News & Events
Could Routine Antibiotics Prevent Sepsis From Occurring in Child Birth ?
- May 17, 2019
- Posted by: curtislegalwp
- Category: blog
It has been shown recently that the use of routine antibiotics prescribed to women in child birth can lower the chance of getting sepsis. This is indicated by the fact that the presence of sepsis has fallen by 56 per cent among those women who were given routine antibiotics. Sepsis is of particular concern to women for whom forceps or other medical intervention have been used to deliver a child.
This research was led by a team based at Oxford University in which thousands of women took part in the study. The conclusion drawn from the research indicated that if antibiotics were prescribed as a matter of routine to women who needed assistance with delivering a child that 7,000 infections a year could be prevented. Because the prevalence of sepsis is reduced, so in turn treatment costs are lowered as well.
Global guidelines for sepsis avoidance need up-dating
The researchers are calling on the World Health Organisation (WHO) to update its global guidelines on sepsis avoidance. In particular, the USA, UK, Australia and numerous other countries which do not at present prescribe pre-emptive antibiotics to update their approach. At the moment, nearly 20 percent of women are infected following assisted vaginal baby delivery, but this could be halved if just one single dose of prophylactic antibiotic was prescribed. It is much safer and more cost effective to give out a single antibiotic dose than pay for a complete course of treatment when a sepsis infection appears.
Study group key to recommendations
In the Oxford University led study involving women about to give birth, the 1st group made up of 1,715 women were given one dose of amoxicillin intravenously and clavulanic acid as quickly as possible and not more than 6 hours following an assisted birth, while the 2nd group were given a saline placebo. Out of the group, 65 per cent of babies were delivered using forceps, while 35 per cent were delivered using ventouse. This is a suction cup used to aid birth. 9 out of 10 of the women needed an episiotomy as well, which is a cut made to enlarge the opening in the vagina. The results were quite clear cut, as 180 women in the 6 weeks to follow who were in the trial group developed a suspected infection, while 306 of the placebo group did.
Evaluation of findings
- This finding is similar to how caesarean births are treated where giving out antibiotics as part of a routine caused a 60 to 70 percent drop in infections.
- The researchers revealed that as far as cost was concerned, the group of women who were given antibiotics cost the NHS £52.60 less than those who were given the placebo in the study period.
- High income earning countries are affected by sepsis infections.
- Out of 20 deaths related to childbirth, one is due to an infection.
- Overall, about 12 percent of all births in Britain require medical intervention.
If you developed sepsis during or after childbirth and you believe it was due to the negligent action of a maternity worker you may be entitled to file a personal injury compensation claim which will help to offset any financial hardship due to the infection.