Do neonates with meconium aspiration syndrome require antibiotics?
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A randomized clinical trial was conducted to evaluate the utility of antibiotics in the routine management of Meconium Aspiration Syndrome (MAS). Neonates diagnosed to have MAS were randomly allocated to either the antibiotic group (n=20) receiving gentamicin for 7 days, or the control group (n=20), receiving no antibiotic. All infants were given identical supportive care. The two groups were comparable with respect to birth weight, gestation, sex distribution, mode of delivery, Apgar scores, and initial clinical and radiological severity of the illness. Results showed that the mean duration and the severity of respiratory distress at 24 hours and 48 hours were similar in the two groups. No secondary infection was documented in either group. A single death occurred in the antibiotic group. It is concluded that empirical use of antibiotics in the routine management of meconium aspiration syndrome is of no benefit.
Key WordsMeconium Meconium aspiration syndrome (MAS)
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