Pre-Caesarean Section Vaginal Preparation with Chlorhexidine Solution in Preventing Puerperal Infectious Morbidities: A Randomized Controlled Trial.
Summary: This study evaluated a vaginal preparation with 0.3% chlorhexidine solution in the prevention of endometritis, surgical site infection, and post-operative fever following emergency caesarean section.
Conclusion: A vaginal preparation with 0.3% chlorhexidine solution decreased the rate of post-operative endometriosis.
Background: Globally, peripartum or puerperal infections account for about one tenth of maternal mortality, most of which occur in low income countries. Therefore, vaginal preparation with an antiseptic prior to a caesarean delivery could be considered an additional measure to prevent subsequent infectious morbidities.
Objective: To evaluate vaginal preparation with 0.3% chlorhexidine solution in the prevention of endometritis, surgical site infection and post-operative fever following emergency caesarean section.
Methods: This prospective randomized controlled trial (RCT) was conducted among 240 participants planned for emergency caesarean sections (CS) at term in the University of Medical Sciences Teaching Hospital Complex, Ondo State, Nigeria. Participants were randomised into either group "A" (study) or "B" (control). The former had vaginal preparation with 0.3% chlorhexidine gluconate immediately after anaesthesia while the latter received normal saline. Participants were followed up post-operatively during which clinical features of puerperal infectious morbidities were observed for each during admission as well as 8th and 14th days after delivery.
Results: The rate and risk of endometritis were significantly lower in the study group compared to the control; 5.0% versus 13.3%, respectively (chi squared =5.004; p=0.042, RR = 0.38; 95% CI = 0.15-0.94; p = 0.042; RRR = 0.62). Post-operative fever and surgical site infection, were also lower in the study group compared to the controls, but the difference was not statistically significant.
Conclusions: When compared to placebo, pre-caesarean section vaginal preparation with 0.3% chlorhexidine solution significantly reduced only the rate and risk of post-operative endometritis among infectious morbidities.