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Effect of vaginal antiseptic prior to caesarean section on the rate of post-caesarean complications: a blinded randomised controlled trial

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journal contribution
posted on 09.05.2022, 06:35 by M Trivedi, AM Robinson, MD Rafiqul IslamMD Rafiqul Islam
Background: Rates of caesarean section (CS) delivery are increasing worldwide. CS delivery is often complicated by post-surgical infection, estimated to have ten times higher risk of infections than that of vaginal delivery. While widespread use of prophylactic antibiotics with CS has reduced post-CS infection, incidence may be reduced further by cleansing the vagina with betadine antiseptic wash prior to CS. However, reports are not consistent, and different antiseptics have been practised variably. Therefore, in order to ensure that the risks to the mother are as minimal as possible, it is important to determine whether vaginal irrigation with antiseptic wash reduces post-CS infection rate, and if so, which antiseptic is paramount. Methods: Women giving birth by elective or emergency CS will be assigned into either the intervention (1% povidone iodine (n = 125) or chlorhexidine (n = 125)) or the control (no-irrigation (n = 125)) group by using a block randomisation technique. Participants will receive vaginal cleansing with an intervention or no vaginal cleansing prior to CS. Follow-up will occur at day 14 and day 28 post-CS. A predeveloped questionnaire will be completed with patients’ socio-demographic characteristics and required clinical and pregnancy-related information. All the fever, infection and readmission-related information will be completed from either the patient’s or their record or at follow-up visits. Occurrence of post-CS infection, as measured by primary and secondary outcomes, will be compared between the groups. Discussion: The results of this study may provide important data to define the future uniform use of vaginal antiseptic wash immediately prior to CS and to determine the best antiseptic wash details in reducing post-operative infections or complications. Trial registration: Australian New Zealand Clinical Trials Registry (ANZCTR) ACTRN12620000971932p. Registered on 28 September 2020


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