Effectiveness of preoperative bath using Chloroxylenol antiseptic soap on the incidence of post emergency Cesarean section surgical site infection at Mbarara Regional Referral hospital, Uganda: a Randomized Controlled trial
Lapat, Jolly Joe
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Introduction: Surgical Site Infections (SSIs) are infections that occur at or near the surgical incision within 30 days of the surgery. SSIs are the commonest form of hospital acquired infections in sub Saharan Africa with estimates between 15%-45%. Cesarean section (CS) is the single most important risk factor for postpartum infections, carrying a 5 to 20-fold increase in the risk of developing sepsis, with an even higher risk when the operation is an emergency. In sub Saharan Africa, the leading cause of maternal mortality is puerperal sepsis. There is a need for simple interventions that can reduce this burden of SSI in the limited resource settings. Therefore, the purpose of this study was to measure the effectiveness of chloroxylenol in reducing the incidence of post Cesarean section surgical site infections at Mbarara Regional Referral Hospital (MRRH). Methods: We conducted a single blinded randomized controlled trial at MRRH maternity ward in which women due for CS were randomized into either control or intervention arms. The intervention was a complete body bath with chloroxylenol antiseptic soap before the operation, while the control arm study participants received a standard pre-operative preparation procedures according to the existing ward protocol. All participants were followed up for 30 days and assessed using a standard SSI screening tool. Results: Ninety-six women were randomized, and 48 were assigned to either arm. The overall incidence of SSI was 30.21%. The incidence of SSI was significantly lower in the intervention compared to the control arm, at 6.25% in the intervention arm versus 54.17% in the control arm (p value<0.001). Chloroxylenol bath was protective of SSI with a 90% risk reduction for SSI (95% confidence interval of 67% – 97%). Conclusion: A preoperative bath with chloroxylenol for pregnant mothers is associated with a significantly lower risk of post Cesarean section surgical site infections. Health facilities with a high burden of post SSI should consider adding this simple and effective intervention to the existing infection prevention measures. Clinical Trials.gov registration (NCT03544710).
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