Obstetric Labor, Premature

Genitourinary Infections and Their Association with Preterm Labor - Article

ABSTRACT: Genitourinary tract infections are one cause of preterm delivery. Prematurity is one of the leading causes of perinatal mortality in the United States. Uterine contractions may be induced by cytokines and prostaglandins, which are released by microorganisms. Asymptomatic bacteriuria, gonococcal cervicitis and bacterial vaginosis are strongly associated with preterm delivery. The role of Chlamydia trachomatis, Trichomonas vaginalis and Ureaplasma urealyticum is less clear. By adopting a rational approach to the diagnosis and treatment of genitourinary infections, family physicians can substantially decrease a patient's risk of preterm delivery.

Preterm Labor: Diagnosis and Treatment - Article

ABSTRACT: Preterm labor and delivery are among the most challenging obstetric complications encountered by the family physician. In the United States, preterm delivery affects approximately one in 10 births and is the cause of at least 75 percent of neonatal deaths, excluding those related to congenital malformations. Although the cause of preterm labor is unknown, family physicians who provide obstetric care should familiarize themselves and their patients with the predisposing risk factors. Preconception counseling should emphasize family planning, nutrition, "safe sex techniques", treatment of sexually transmitted diseases, and avoidance of cigarettes, alcohol, abusive drugs and harmful work conditions. The rate of fetal morbidity can be reduced with the early and accurate diagnosis of preterm labor, intervention to delay preterm delivery, administration of corticosteroids and provision of neonatal care. Research into biochemical markers such as fetal fibronectin, possible infectious etiologies such as bacterial vaginosis, and the use of more selective tocolytic therapy offers hope that new therapeutic approaches may increase rates of fetal survival.

Preterm Labor - Article

ABSTRACT: Preterm labor is the leading cause of perinatal morbidity and mortality in the United States. It is characterized by cervical effacement and/or dilatation and increased uterine irritability before 37 weeks of gestation. Women with a history of preterm labor are at greatest risk. Strategies for reducing the incidence of preterm labor and delivery have focused on educating both physicians and patients about the risks for preterm labor and methods of detecting preterm cervical dilatation. Methods used to predict preterm labor include weekly cervical assessment, transvaginal ultrasonography, detection of fetal fibronectin and home uterine activity monitoring. As yet, it is unclear if any of these strategies should be routinely employed. At present, management of preterm labor may include the use of tocolytic agents, corticosteroids and antibiotics.

Preterm Labor - Article

ABSTRACT: Preventing preterm delivery remains one of the great challenges in modern medicine. Preterm birth rates continue to increase and accounted for 12.7 percent of all U.S. births in 2005. The etiology of preterm delivery is unclear, but is likely to be complex and influenced by genetics and environmental factors. Women with previous preterm birth are at increased risk of subsequent preterm delivery and may be candidates for treatment with antenatal progesterone. Fetal fibronectin testing and endovaginal ultrasonography for cervical length are useful for triage. For the patient in preterm labor, only antenatal corticosteroids and delivery in a facility with a level III neonatal intensive care unit have been shown to improve outcomes consistently. Tocolytic agents may delay delivery for up to 48 hours, enabling the administration of antenatal corticosteroids or maternal transfer. Routine use of antibiotics in preterm labor is not indicated except for group B streptococcus prophylaxis or treatment of chorioamnionitis.

ACOG Issues Recommendations on Assessment of Risk Factors for Preterm Birth - Practice Guidelines

Screening for and Treating Asymptomatic Bacterial Vaginosis in Pregnancy - Cochrane for Clinicians

Use of Beta Agonists in Preterm Labor - Cochrane for Clinicians

Are Oral Betamimetics Effective Maintenance Therapies After Threatened Preterm Labor? - Cochrane for Clinicians

Prevention of Perinatal Group B Streptococcal Disease: Updated CDC Guideline - Article

ABSTRACT: Group B streptococcus is the leading cause of early-onset neonatal sepsis in the United States. Universal screening is recommended for pregnant women at 35 to 37 weeks’ gestation. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recently updated its guideline for the prevention of early-onset neonatal group B streptococcal disease. The new guideline contains six important changes. First, there is a recommendation to consider using sensitive nucleic acid amplification tests, rather than just routine cultures, for detection of group B streptococcus in rectal and vaginal specimens. Second, the colony count required to consider a urine specimen positive is at least 104 colony-forming units per mL. Third, the new guideline presents separate algorithms for management of preterm labor and preterm premature rupture of membranes, rather than a single algorithm for both conditions. Fourth, there are minor changes in the recommended dose of penicillin G for intrapartum chemoprophylaxis. Fifth, the guideline provides new recommendations about antibiotic regimens for women with penicillin allergy. Cefazolin is recommended for women with minor allergies. For those at serious risk of anaphylaxis, clindamycin is recommended if the organism is susceptible or if susceptibility is unknown, and vancomycin is recommended if there is clindamycin resistance. Finally, the new algorithm for secondary prevention of early-onset group B streptococcal disease in newborns should be applied to all infants, not only those at high risk of infection. The algorithm clarifies the extent of evaluation and duration of observation required for infants in different risk categories.

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