Introduction Amniocentesis is the commonest invasive prenatal diagnostic procedure, performed in about 5% of pregnant women. Its most important risk is miscarriage.
The aims of the study were therefore to study the rate of adverse sequelae associated with amniocentesis performed at Hope Hospital, Salford, UK, especially miscarriage and determine factors that influence the risks of complications.
Methods A retrospective study, with data collected and analysed for all amniocentesis done between June 2004 and June 2011 from antenatal clinic records and electronic records of patient's clinical notes.
A total of 598 amniocenteses were done during the 8-year period. Midway into this period, the antiseptic agent used for skin preparation was changed from hibitane (2% chlorhexidine) to more potent chloraprep (2% chlorhexidine and 70% isopropyl alcohol), which kills bacteria in all 5 layers of the skin.
Conclusion The most significant finding of the study was the reduction in miscarriage rate reported with better aseptic skin preparation. This can easily prompt the suggestion for a change in practice as regards to aseptic procedure in amniocentesis. However, further studies would be needed to corroborate the finding.
Factors that did not adversely affect miscarriage rate were multiple needle insertions, blood-stained liquor and transplacental route.
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