A series of 100 infants born after prolonged rupture of membranes was studied to evaluate the risk of infection to the infant due to this circumstance alone, and to assess the effect of prophylactic antibiotics in its prevention. Evidence of bacterial colonization at birth was limited to 6 cases and no clinical infection ensued. Neonatal infection was uniformly low but the administration of antibiotics led to clinical candidiasis in 18% and the development of a replacement flora of fungi in the intestinal tract in 70%. It is concluded that the routine administration of prophylactic antibiotics to the infant born in these circumstances is unnecessary and potentially hazardous.
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