Antibiotic for cesarean section: the case for 'true' prophylaxis

Int J Gynaecol Obstet. 1993 Dec;43(3):257-61. doi: 10.1016/0020-7292(93)90513-v.


Objectives: To assess prospectively the efficiency and safety of two extended spectrum cephalosporins used as pre-operative prophylaxis in nonelective cesarean sections, and compare the results to those of a third group of patients that received cefamezine post cord clamping.

Methods: Two hundred and forty one patients undergoing a nonscheduled cesarean section were assigned to receive either cefonicid or ceftriaxone prior to skin incision. These patients were followed prospectively for infectious and fetal complications. The outcome of these patients was also compared with another group of 194 patients that received cefamezine prophylaxis post cord clamping, and whose data were collected retrospectively. Chi-square analysis of variance were performed with P < 0.05 considered significant.

Results: There were no significant differences in the febrile complications among the two groups of patients that received pre-operative prophylaxis. However, these patients had significantly less wound infections (P = 0.008) and a significantly shorter hospital stay (P < 0.001) than the patients who received their prophylactic antibiotics post cord clamping.

Conclusions: Extended-spectrum cephalosporins, when given pre-operatively, are both effective and safe, and may have an advantage over intra-operative first generation cephalosporins in the reduction of post cesarean section infectious morbidity.

MeSH terms

  • Cefazolin / therapeutic use
  • Cefonicid / therapeutic use*
  • Ceftriaxone / therapeutic use*
  • Cesarean Section* / adverse effects
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Pregnancy
  • Premedication*
  • Prospective Studies
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Surgical Wound Infection / prevention & control*


  • Cefonicid
  • Ceftriaxone
  • Cefazolin