Pre-delivery risk factors associated with C-section infections

Increasing patient education.

Closeup of woman belly with a dressing from a cesarean section
Closeup of woman belly with a dressing from a cesarean section Image: Shutterstock

A new study by the Association for Professionals in Infection Control and Epidemiology (APIC) suggests that Having an earlier cesarean segment (C-segment), smoking, illegal medication utilize, and weight improve the probability of building up a disease amid a C-segment delivery.

Scientists identified retrospective chart review of 90 C-section deliveries. They also identified four pre-delivery risk factors for developing the C-section infections. Women who developed a C-section infection were:

  • 8.41 times more likely to have had a prior C-section
  • 3.8 times more likely to have smoked
  • 25.3 times more likely to have had a history of illicit drug use
  • More likely to have had a higher body-mass index (BMI) with 42.4 average BMI for all cases and 36.9 BMI for those who did not develop an infection

Most of the contaminations were recognized by positive wound cultures comprising of both regular commensal and enteric organisms, such a Staphylococcus species and Escherichia coli (E. coli). These are common organisms found in/on the body that regularly don’t cause harm, yet when they attack an open injury, can prompt infection.

Co-author Stefanie Buchanan said, “We found that women leave the hospital with a breadth of information on caring for a newborn and often overlook the education provided on caring for their wound.”

Following the study, the infection prevention team at University of Florida Health Jacksonville updated their standard of care for women pre- and post- C-section, focusing on increasing patient education. Upon discharge, nurses provide patients with additional resources on wound care and perform an assisted shower to demonstrate proper cleaning.

What’s more, in light of the fact that a vast part of the infections was owing to basic commensals, nurses presently ensure that patients are showered with the disinfectant chlorhexidine gluconate (CHG) prior to surgery.

2018 APIC President Janet Haas said, “The UF Health Jacksonville infection prevention team’s work contributes to our understanding of risk factors associated with C-section infections. They have used this data to design better processes of care for their patients, improving the health and safety of new mothers.”

The research is presented at the 45th Annual Conference of the Association for Professionals in Infection Control and Epidemiology (APIC).