MORE than 100,000 new mums should be given antibiotics after childbirth, experts claim.
Research shows a single dose after an assisted delivery almost halved infection risk.
Getty – Contributor Giving women a single-dose of antibiotics after an assisted delivery almost halved the risk of infection
And their chances of developing deadly sepsis fell 41 per cent. Oxford University scientists claim the move would prevent over 7,000 British mums from falling ill annually.
Professor Marian Knight, from Oxford University, said: “Pregnancy-associated infection is a major cause of death and serious illness.”
It would also save on antibiotic use overall and spare the NHS millions in additional care costs, according to The Lancet study.
And around a fifth of women develop a subsequent infection.
Researchers claim treating all new mums would save the NHS £52.60 per women.
Professor Marian Knight, from Oxford University, called for treatment guidelines to be immediately updated.
She said: “These findings highlight the urgent need to change current WHO antibiotic guidelines…that do not recommend routine antibiotic prophylaxis for assisted childbirth.
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“Pregnancy-associated infection is a major cause of death and serious illness.” One in eight UK births, or 104,000 annually, are assisted – involving forceps or ventouse.
But the study involving 27 UK maternity units found rates were cut to one in ten if new mums were given a single preventative dose of antibiotics.
Overall, the use of the drug actually post-birth dropped by 17 per cent, as fewer women then needed them for infections.
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