Infections complicating cesarean delivery

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Purpose of reviewCesarean sections are common surgical procedures performed in a healthy population and are unique because of a relatively high rate of postoperative infection. There have been many important advances in understanding the pathogenesis of infection and evaluation of interventions to prevent post cesarean section infections in the last few years. Our purpose in this review is to analyze these new data, discuss unanswered questions, and propose changes in standard of care.Recent findingsWound closure techniques including subcuticular sutures and subcutaneous suturing have been shown to be effective at reducing surgical site infections. Wound dressings including negative pressure dressings likely do not decrease infection rates. The type, timing, and duration of preoperative prophylactic antibiotics, including adjunctive azithromycin for laboring women and multidose antibiotics in obese women, have also yielded mixed results. Our understanding of normal uterine microbiome and the impact of intrapartum antibiotics on the newborn is emerging.SummaryThe pathogenesis of surgical site infections after Cesarean section is complex and multifactorial. Many interventions to reduce infections have been studied with varying degrees of effectiveness. Despite advances in the area, important questions remain unanswered.

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