DALLAS (Feb. 9, 2012) In a study to be presented today at the Society for Maternal-Fetal Medicine's annual meeting, The Pregnancy Meeting , in Dallas, Texas, researchers will report findings that suggest that induction of labor in patients who suffer a rupture of membranes between the 34th and 37th week of gestation (before the onset of labor) does not reduce the risk of infection or respiratory problems in the newborn.
"Our research indicates that in patients who underwent close monitoring, known as expectant management, versus those whose labor was induced, there was no difference in the risk for infection in the newborn, breathing problems in the newborn or caesarean section rates," said David van der Ham, MD, with the Maastricht University Medical Center, Obstetrics & Gynecology, GROW School for Oncology and Developmental Biology, Maastricht, Netherlands, and one of the study's authors. "Due to these findings, we suggested expectant management as opposed to induced labor when possible."
For the study, entitled Induction of Labor Versus Expectant Management in Women with Preterm Prelabor Rupture of Membranes Between 34 and 37 Weeks the PPROMEXIL-2 trial, van der Ham and his colleagues observed 536 women from January 2007 until September 2009, and 195 women from December 2009 until January 2011. The study was performed in a multicenter setting within the Dutch obstetric research consortium, in which 60 hospitals in the Netherlands collaborated. After 24 hours of ruptured membranes, patients were allocated to either immediate delivery or expectant management until 37 weeks of gestational age.
The results indicate that: expectant management prolonged pregnancy for 3.5 days; the risk for neonatal sepsis (infection of the newborn) overall was low (3.6%) and did not differ between treatment strategies; the risk for respiratory distress syndrome (breathing problems of the newborn) did not differ between treatment strategies; and cae
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Society for Maternal-Fetal Medicine