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Routine antibiotic prophylaxis after normal vaginal birth for reducing maternal infectious morbidity

Overview of attention for article published in Cochrane database of systematic reviews, November 2017
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  • In the top 25% of all research outputs scored by Altmetric
  • High Attention Score compared to outputs of the same age (90th percentile)
  • Good Attention Score compared to outputs of the same age and source (68th percentile)

Mentioned by

1 news outlet
25 tweeters


16 Dimensions

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195 Mendeley
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Routine antibiotic prophylaxis after normal vaginal birth for reducing maternal infectious morbidity
Published in
Cochrane database of systematic reviews, November 2017
DOI 10.1002/14651858.cd012137.pub2
Pubmed ID

Mercedes Bonet, Erika Ota, Chioma E Chibueze, Olufemi T Oladapo


Infectious morbidities contribute to considerable maternal and perinatal morbidity and mortality, including women at no apparent increased risk of infection. To reduce the incidence of infections, antibiotics are often administered to women after uncomplicated childbirth, particularly in settings where women are at higher risk of puerperal infectious morbidities. To assess whether routine administration of prophylactic antibiotics to women after normal (uncomplicated) vaginal birth, compared with placebo or no antibiotic prophylaxis, reduces postpartum maternal infectious morbidities and improves outcomes. We searched the Cochrane Pregnancy and Childbirth Group's Trials Register (31 August 2017), LILACS, ClinicalTrials.gov, the WHO International Clinical Trials Registry Platform (ICTRP) (22 August 2017) and reference lists of retrieved studies. We planned to include randomised or quasi-randomised trials evaluating the use of prophylactic antibiotics versus placebo or no antibiotic prophylaxis. Trials using a cluster-randomised design would have been eligible for inclusion, but we found none.In future updates of this review, we will include studies published in abstract form only, provided sufficient information is available to assess risks of bias. We will consider excluded abstracts for inclusion once the full publication is available, or the authors provide more information.Trials using a cross-over design are not eligible for inclusion in this review. Two review authors conducted independent assessment of trials for inclusion and risks of bias. They independently extracted data and checked them for accuracy, resolving differences in assessments by discussion. They evaluated methodological quality using standard Cochrane criteria and the GRADE approach.We present the summaries as risk ratios (RRs) and mean difference (MDs) using fixed- or random-effect models. For one primary outcome we found considerable heterogeneity and interaction. We explored further using subgroup analysis to investigate the effects of the randomisation unit. All review authors discussed and interpreted the results. One randomised controlled trial (RCT) and two quasi-RCTs contributed data on 1779 women who had uncomplicated vaginal births, comparing different antibiotic regimens with placebo or no treatment. The included trials took place in the 1960s (one trial) and 1990s (two trials). The trials were conducted in France, the USA and Brazil. Antibiotics administered included: oral sulphamethoxypyridazine or chloramphenicol for three to five days, and intravenous amoxicillin and clavulanic acid in a single dose one hour after birth. We rated most of the domains for risk of bias as high risk, with the exception of reporting bias and other potential bias.The quality of evidence ranged from low to very low, based on the GRADE quality assessment, given very serious design limitations of the included studies, few events and wide confidence intervals (CIs) of effect estimates.We found a decrease in the risk of endometritis (RR 0.28, 95% CI 0.09 to 0.83, two trials, 1364 women,very low quality). However, one trial reported zero events for this outcome and we rate the evidence as very low quality. There was little or no difference between groups for the risk of urinary tract infection (RR 0.25, 95% CI 0.05 to 1.19, two trials, 1706 women,low quality), wound infection after episiotomy (reported as wound dehiscence in the included trials) (RR 0.78, 95% CI 0.31 to 1.96, two trials, 1364 women, very low quality) and length of maternal hospital stay in days (MD -0.15, 95% CI -0.31 to 0.01, one trial, 1291 women, very low quality). Cost of care in US dollar equivalent was 2½ times higher in the control group compared to the group receiving antibiotics prophylaxis (USD 3600: USD 9000, one trial, 1291 women). There were few or no differences between treated and control groups for adverse effects of antibiotics (skin rash) reported in one woman in each of the two trials (RR 3.03, 95% CI 0.32 to 28.95, two trials, 1706 women, very low quality). The incidence of severe maternal infectious morbidity, antimicrobial resistance or women's satisfaction with care were not addressed by any of the included studies. Routine administration of antibiotics may reduce the risk of endometritis after uncomplicated vaginal birth. The small number and nature of the trials limit the interpretation of the evidence for application in practice, particularly in settings where women may be at higher risk of developing endometritis. The use of antibiotics did not reduce the incidence of urinary tract infections, wound infection or the length of maternal hospital stay. Antibiotics are not a substitute for infection prevention and control measures around the time of childbirth and the postpartum period. The decision to routinely administer prophylactic antibiotics after normal vaginal births needs to be balanced by patient features, childbirth setting and provider experience, including considerations of the contribution of indiscriminate use of antibiotics to raising antimicrobial resistance. Well-designed and high-powered randomised controlled trials would help to evaluate the added value of routine antibiotic administration as a measure to prevent maternal infections after normal vaginal delivery.

Twitter Demographics

The data shown below were collected from the profiles of 25 tweeters who shared this research output. Click here to find out more about how the information was compiled.

Mendeley readers

The data shown below were compiled from readership statistics for 195 Mendeley readers of this research output. Click here to see the associated Mendeley record.

Geographical breakdown

Country Count As %
Unknown 195 100%

Demographic breakdown

Readers by professional status Count As %
Student > Master 33 17%
Student > Bachelor 26 13%
Student > Ph. D. Student 19 10%
Researcher 17 9%
Student > Doctoral Student 13 7%
Other 44 23%
Unknown 43 22%
Readers by discipline Count As %
Medicine and Dentistry 62 32%
Nursing and Health Professions 30 15%
Social Sciences 8 4%
Pharmacology, Toxicology and Pharmaceutical Science 8 4%
Unspecified 6 3%
Other 27 14%
Unknown 54 28%

Attention Score in Context

This research output has an Altmetric Attention Score of 23. This is our high-level measure of the quality and quantity of online attention that it has received. This Attention Score, as well as the ranking and number of research outputs shown below, was calculated when the research output was last mentioned on 02 May 2019.
All research outputs
of 14,780,221 outputs
Outputs from Cochrane database of systematic reviews
of 11,052 outputs
Outputs of similar age
of 315,349 outputs
Outputs of similar age from Cochrane database of systematic reviews
of 239 outputs
Altmetric has tracked 14,780,221 research outputs across all sources so far. Compared to these this one has done particularly well and is in the 94th percentile: it's in the top 10% of all research outputs ever tracked by Altmetric.
So far Altmetric has tracked 11,052 research outputs from this source. They typically receive a lot more attention than average, with a mean Attention Score of 22.5. This one has done well, scoring higher than 78% of its peers.
Older research outputs will score higher simply because they've had more time to accumulate mentions. To account for age we can compare this Altmetric Attention Score to the 315,349 tracked outputs that were published within six weeks on either side of this one in any source. This one has done particularly well, scoring higher than 90% of its contemporaries.
We're also able to compare this research output to 239 others from the same source and published within six weeks on either side of this one. This one has gotten more attention than average, scoring higher than 68% of its contemporaries.