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Am J Infect Control. 1995 Feb;23(1):27-33.

Comparison of case-finding methodologies for endometritis after cesarean section.

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Infection Control Service, University of Michigan Medical Center, Ann Arbor 48109-0458, USA.



Endometritis is a possible complication of delivery among patients undergoing cesarean section, resulting in increased costs and patient morbidity. However, traditional case-finding methods for endometritis may not identify most cases. We compared various case-finding methods with a reference method to determine a simple and accurate method for collecting data on endometritis after cesarean section.


We reviewed charts of all patients undergoing cesarean section (N = 167) during March 1 through July 31, 1991. These data were compared with study case-finding methods that used microbiology data, infection report forms from nursing, and computerized reports linking patients undergoing cesarean section with intravenous antibiotic use data and admission and discharge diagnoses.


Each case-finding method was compared separately with the reference method ("gold standard"), which was designed to capture all cases among the patients in the study population (N = 145). This review yielded nine cases of endometritis (infection rate of 5.4/100 procedures). The computerized report method linking patients who underwent cesarean section with antibiotic use had a positive predictive value of 0.53. Methods that used microbiology data and nursing report forms had lower positive predictive values of 0.18 and 0.20, respectively.


In our institution, case finding for postcesarean endometritis by means of a computerized report linking patients undergoing cesarean section with i.v. antibiotic use data and admission and discharge diagnoses is the most effective method of detecting postcesarean endometritis. It also represents the most efficient use of the infection control department's resources.

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