Objective: To assess frequency, risk factors, and microbiology of bacteremia within 15 minutes of placental separation during cesarean delivery.
Methods: Ninety-three women undergoing cesarean delivery afte a minimum of 4 hours of labor or ruptured membranes were compared with 26 women not in labor undergoing cesarean. Blood cultures for aerobic and anaerobic bacteria were obtained within 15 minutes of delivery of the placenta and before prophylactic antibiotic administration. Chorioamnionic membranes were also cultured. Demographic, labor, delivery, and postpartum characteristics were abstracted from the medical record.
Results: Bacteremia was detected in 13 (11%) of 119 women. Bacteremia occurred in 13 (14%) of 93 women after labor or rupture of membranes compared with zero of 26 women not in labor (P = .02). Isolates included group B streptococcus (n = 5), Gardnerella vaginalis (n = 5), Streptococcus pneumoniae (n = 1), Peptostreptococcus sp (n = 1), and mixed flora of Prevotella bivia, G vaginalis, and viridans streptococci (n = 1). Bacteremia was associated with earlier median gestational age, lower median birth weight, and a positive chorioamnionic membrane culture. After adjustment for gestational age, intrauterine monitoring was also significantly associated with bacteremia.
Conclusion: Bacteremia was common after labor in this population, especially in preterm deliveries and those with positive chorioamnionic-placental culture. Many of the isolates are capable of cuasing endocarditis. Appraisal of the risk of bacteremia and the risk of bacterial endocarditis should be made in individual patients to assess the need for antibiotic prophylaxis.
(C) 1996 The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists