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August 1964

Antibiotics in Infants For Premature Rupture Of Membranes: Study of Prophylactic Use in Premature Infants

Author Affiliations

William Oh, MD, Department of Pediatrics, Karolinska Institute, Stockholm, Sweden.; From the Division of Pediatrics and Department of Microbiology, Michael Reese Hospital and Medical Center.

Am J Dis Child. 1964;108(2):149-153. doi:10.1001/archpedi.1964.02090010151006

When newborn infants succumb to severe infection during the first few days of life, predisposing maternal factor such as infection, prolonged labor, and premature rupture of amniotic membranes have been implicated.1,2 Several reports have indicated a direct correlation between early rupture of the amniotic membranes and neonatal infection, especially in association with prolonged labor.3-5,8 However, the beneficial effects of prophylactic antibiotics in the prevention of infection in the newborn under these circumstances still are not clear. Von Friesen reported that small doses of sulfamerazine,6 and Smith and his co-workers, that a combination of penicillin and tetracycline7 resulted in decreased neonatal morbidity and rate of infection when administered to mothers with fever, prolonged labor, and premature rupture of amniotic membranes. Blanc8 and Pfaeffli,9 however, did not observe a beneficial effect when penicillin and streptomycin were used as the prophylactic antibiotics.

Equivocal results have been reported