Items in AFP with MESH term: Pregnancy

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SIDS: Counseling Parents to Reduce the Risk - Article

ABSTRACT: Although the cause or causes of sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS) remain unknown, the incidence of SIDS is on the decline in the United States and other countries. This decline has been accomplished largely through public education campaigns informing parents about several important factors associated with an increased risk of SIDS. These factors are prone and side infant sleeping positions, exposure of infants to cigarette smoke and potentially hazardous sleeping environments. Risk-reduction measures such as placing healthy infants to sleep in the supine position, avoiding passive smoke exposure both before and after birth and optimizing crib safety are beginning to lower the SIDS rate in this country. Through patient education, family physicians can further reduce the incidence of the number one cause of death in infants one week to one year old.


External Cephalic Version - Article

ABSTRACT: External cephalic version is a procedure that externally rotates the fetus from a breech presentation to a vertex presentation. External version has made a resurgence in the past 15 years because of a strong safety record and a success rate of about 65 percent. Before the resurgence of the use of external version, the only choices for breech delivery were cesarean section or a trial of labor. It is preferable to wait until term (37 weeks of gestation) before external version is attempted because of an increased success rate and avoidance of preterm delivery if complications arise. After the fetal head is gently disengaged, the fetus is manipulated by a forward roll or back flip. If unsuccessful, the version can be reattempted at a later time. The procedure should only be performed in a facility equipped for emergency cesarean section. The use of external cephalic version can produce considerable cost savings in the management of the breech fetus at term. It is a skill easily acquired by family physicians and should be a routine part of obstetric practice.


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.


Liver Disease in Pregnancy - Article

ABSTRACT: Acute viral hepatitis is the most common cause of jaundice in pregnancy. The course of acute hepatitis is unaffected by pregnancy, except in patients with hepatitis E and disseminated herpes simplex infections, in which maternal and fetal mortality rates are significantly increased. Chronic hepatitis B or C infections may be transmitted to neonates; however, hepatitis B virus transmission is effectively prevented with perinatal hepatitis B vaccination and prophylaxis with hepatitis B immune globulin. Cholelithiasis occurs in 6 percent of pregnancies; complications can safely be treated with surgery. Women with chronic liver disease or cirrhosis exhibit a higher risk of fetal loss during pregnancy. Preeclampsia is associated with HELLP (hemolysis, elevated liver enzymes and low platelet count) syndrome, acute fatty liver of pregnancy, and hepatic infarction and rupture. These rare diseases result in increased maternal and fetal mortality. Treatment involves prompt delivery, whereupon the liver disease quickly reverses. Therapy with penicillamine, trientine, prednisone or azathioprine can be safely continued during pregnancy.


Common Peripartum Emergencies - Article

ABSTRACT: Peripartum emergencies occur in patients with no known risk factors. When the well-being of the fetus is in question, the fetal heart rate pattern may offer etiologic clues. Repetitive late decelerations may signify uteroplacental insufficiency, and a sinusoidal pattern may indicate severe fetal distress. Repetitive variable decelerations suggesting umbilical cord compression may be relieved by amnioinfusion. Regardless of the etiology of the nonreassuring fetal heart pattern, measures to improve fetal oxygenation should be attempted while options for delivery are considered. Massive obstetric hemorrhage requires prompt action. Clinical signs, such as painless bleeding, uterine tenderness and nonreassuring fetal heart patterns, may help to differentiate causes of vaginal bleeding that may or may not require emergency cesarean delivery. The causes of postpartum hemorrhage include uterine atony, vaginal or cervical laceration, and retained placenta. The challenge of managing shoulder dystocia is to effect a rapid delivery while avoiding neonatal and maternal morbidity. The McRoberts maneuver has been shown to be the safest and most successful technique for relieving shoulder dystocia. Eclampsia responds best to magnesium sulfate, supportive care and supplemental hydralazine or labetalol as needed for severe hypertension.


Office Management of Bartholin Gland Cysts and Abscesses - Article

ABSTRACT: Bartholin gland cysts and abscesses are common problems in women of reproductive age. Although the cysts are usually asymptomatic, they may become enlarged or infected and cause significant pain. Often the clinician is tempted simply to lance the cyst or abscess, since this technique can be effective for other common abscesses. However, simple lancing of a Bartholin gland cyst or abscess may result in recurrence. More effective treatment methods include use of a Word catheter and marsupialization, both of which can be performed in the office.


Intrauterine Growth Restriction: Identification and Management - Article

ABSTRACT: Intrauterine growth restriction (IUGR) is a common diagnosis in obstetrics and carries an increased risk of perinatal mortality and morbidity. Identification of IUGR is crucial because proper evaluation and management can result in a favorable outcome. Certain pregnancies are at high risk for growth restriction, although a substantial percentage of cases occur in the general obstetric population. Accurate dating early in pregnancy is essential for a diagnosis of IUGR. Ultrasound biometry is the gold standard for assessment of fetal size and the amount of amniotic fluid. Growth restriction is classified as symmetric and asymmetric. A lag in fundal height of 4 cm or more suggests IUGR. Serial ultrasonograms are important for monitoring growth restriction, and management must be individualized. General management measures include treatment of maternal disease, good nutrition and institution of bed rest. Preterm delivery is indicated if the fetus shows evidence of abnormal function on biophysical profile testing. The fetus should be monitored continuously during labor to minimize fetal hypoxia.


Prevention of Neonatal Group B Streptococcal Infection - Article

ABSTRACT: Neonatal group B streptococcal infection is the primary cause of neonatal morbidity related to infection. It can often be prevented by identifying and treating pregnant women who carry group B streptococci or who are at highest risk of transmitting the bacteria to newborns. Increasing evidence and expert opinion support intrapartum treatment of women at relatively high risk of delivering an infant with group B streptococcal infection. Such women can be identified through the use of an anogenital culture for group B streptococci obtained at 35 to 37 weeks of gestation and by the presence of at least one of many risk factors associated with neonatal infection. These risk factors include preterm labor or rupture of the membranes at less than 37 weeks of gestation, previous delivery of an infant with invasive group B streptococcal disease, group B streptococcal bacteriuria during the present pregnancy, maternal intrapartum fever of 38 degrees C (100.4 degrees F) or higher and rupture of the fetal membranes for 18 hours or more. The recommended agent for intrapartum chemoprophylaxis is intravenous penicillin G; clindamycin is used in penicillin-allergic women. The use of risk markers alone to guide the administration of intrapartum antibiotics is much more cost-effective than other preventive strategies, but it exposes more women and infants to antibiotic-associated risks. Management of the infants of treated mothers is empiric and is currently guided by expert opinion.


Epidural Analgesia During Labor - Article

ABSTRACT: Epidural analgesia is a commonly employed technique of providing pain relief during labor. The number of parturients given intrapartum epidural analgesia is reported to be over 50 percent at many institutions in the United States. The procedure has few contraindications, the primary ones being patient refusal, maternal hemorrhage and coagulopathy. Induction of epidural analgesia in early labor remains controversial. However, many physicians induce analgesia as soon as the diagnosis of active labor has been established and the patient has requested pain relief. The most common complications occurring with epidural analgesia are maternal hypotension and postdural puncture headache. Retrospective studies have demonstrated an association between epidural analgesia and increases in duration of labor, instrumental vaginal delivery and cesarean section for labor. However, several recent prospective studies have concluded that epidural analgesia does not adversely affect the progress of labor or increase the rate of cesarean section. These remain controversial issues among practicing physicians.


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.


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