ACOG Practice Bulletin No. 80: premature rupture of membranes. Clinical management guidelines for obstetrician-gynecologists

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Obstetrics and Gynecology 2007, 109 (4): 1007-19
Preterm delivery occurs in approximately 12% of all births in the United States and is a major factor contributing to perinatal morbidity and mortality (1, 2). Despite extensive research in this area, the rate of preterm birth has increased by 38% since 1981 (3). Premature rupture of membranes (PROM) is a complication in approximately one third of preterm births. It typically is associated with brief latency between membrane rupture and delivery, increased potential for perinatal infection, and in utero umbilical cord compression. Because of this, both PROM at and before term can lead to significant perinatal morbidity and mortality. There is some controversy over the optimal approaches to clinical assessment and treatment of women with term and preterm PROM. Management hinges on knowledge of gestational age and evaluation of the relative risks of preterm birth versus intrauterine infection, abruptio placentae, and cord accident that could occur with expectant management. The purpose of this document is to review the current understanding of this condition and to provide management guidelines that have been validated by appropriately conducted outcome-based research. Additional guidelines on the basis of consensus and expert opinion also are presented.

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