DOI: 10.1002/ijgo.15048 ISSN:

Empiric antibiotics for peripartum bacteremia: A chart review from a quaternary Canadian centre

Sarah F. Mohn, Renee Reimer, Nicole Mar, Angela Katelieva, Vanessa Paquette, Arianne Y. K. Albert, Ashley Roberts, Peter Tilley, Elisabeth McClymont, Joseph Ting, Isabelle Boucoiran, Chelsea Elwood
  • Obstetrics and Gynecology
  • General Medicine



To evaluate the effectiveness of empiric antibiotic protocols for peripartum bacteremia at a quaternary institution by describing incidence, microbial epidemiology, clinical source of infection, susceptibility patterns, and maternal and neonatal outcomes.


Retrospective chart review of peripartum patients with positive blood cultures between 2010 and 2018.


The incidence of peripartum bacteremia was 0.3%. The most cultured organisms were Escherichia coli (51, 26.7%), Streptococcus spp. (52, 27.2%), and anaerobic spp. (35, 18.3%). Of the E. coli cases, 54.9% (28), 19.6% (10), and 19.6% (10) were resistant to ampicillin, first‐ and third‐generation cephalosporins, respectively. Clinical sources of infection included intra‐amniotic infection/endometritis (115, 67.6%), upper and/or lower urinary tract infection (23, 13.5%), and soft tissue infection (8, 4.7%). Appropriate empiric antibiotics were prescribed in 137 (83.0%) cases. There were 7 ICU admissions (4.2%), 18 pregnancy losses (9.9%), 9 neonatal deaths (5.5%), and 6 cases of neonatal bacteremia (3.7%).


Peripartum bacteremia remains uncommon but associated with maternal morbidity and neonatal morbidity and mortality. Current empiric antimicrobial protocols at our site remain appropriate, but continuous monitoring of antimicrobial resistance patterns is critical given the presence of pathogens resistant to first‐line antibiotics.

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