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JOURNAL ARTICLE

No. 347-Obstetric Management at Borderline Viability

Noor Niyar N Ladhani, Radha S Chari, Michael S Dunn, Griffith Jones, Prakesh Shah, Jon F R Barrett
Journal of Obstetrics and Gynaecology Canada: JOGC 2017, 39 (9): 781-791
28859764

OBJECTIVE: The primary objective of this guideline was to develop consensus statements to guide clinical practice and recommendations for obstetric management of a pregnancy at borderline viability, currently defined as prior to 25+6 weeks.

INTENDED USERS: Clinicians involved in the obstetric management of women whose fetus is at the borderline of viability.

TARGET POPULATION: Women presenting for possible birth at borderline viability.

EVIDENCE: This document presents a summary of the literature and a general consensus on the management of pregnancies at borderline viability, including maternal transfer and consultation, administration of antenatal corticosteroids and magnesium sulfate, fetal heart rate monitoring, and considerations in mode of delivery. Medline, EMBASE, and Cochrane databases were searched using the following keywords: extreme prematurity, borderline viability, preterm, pregnancy, antenatal corticosteroids, mode of delivery. The results were then studied, and relevant articles were reviewed. The references of the reviewed studies were also searched, as were documents citing pertinent studies. The evidence was then presented at a consensus meeting, and statements were developed.

VALIDATION METHODS: The content and recommendations were developed by the consensus group from the fields of Maternal-Fetal Medicine, Neonatology, Perinatal Nursing, Patient Advocacy, and Ethics. The quality of evidence was rated using criteria described in the Grading of Recommendations Assessment, Development and Evaluation methodology framework (reference 1). The Board of the Society of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists of Canada approved the final draft for publication.

METHODS: The quality of evidence was rated using the criteria described in the Grading of Recommendations, Assessment, Development, and Evaluation methodology framework. The interpretation of strong and weak recommendations is described later. The Summary of Findings is available upon request.

BENEFITS, HARMS, AND COSTS: A multidisciplinary approach should be used in counselling women and families at borderline viability. The impact of obstetric interventions in the improvement of neonatal outcomes is suggested in the literature, and if active resuscitation is intended, then active obstetric interventions should be considered.

GUIDELINE UPDATE: Evidence will be reviewed 5 years after publication to decide whether all or part of the guideline should be updated. However, if important new evidence is published prior to the 5-year cycle, the review process may be accelerated for a more rapid update of some recommendations.

SPONSORS: This guideline was developed with resources funded by the Society of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists of Canada and the Women and Babies Program at Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre.

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