A brief perioperative course of ampicillin was recommended for high-risk patients undergoing cesarean section at our institution. High-risk patients were defined as those with two or more of the following factors: general anesthesia, obesity, hematocrit ≤30%, and labor prior to delivery. Fifteen percent of high-risk patients who received prophylactic antibiotics experienced postoperative febrile morbidity compared to 63% for the high-risk untreated group (P< 0.001). Twenty-five percent of low-risk patients (<2 risk factors) developed this complication. Endometritis was the leading cause of postoperative febrile morbidity. Postoperative stay was only slightly decreased in the prophylactically treated group (5.9 vs 6.2 days). Prophylactic ampicillin given perioperatively was an effective agent in reducing postcesarean-section febrile morbidity among high-risk patients.
Submitted for publication September 3, 1977.
© 1978 The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists