Intrapartum Management of Premature Rupture of Membranes: Effect on Cesarean Delivery Rate


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Abstract

OBJECTIVE:To estimate whether it is possible to define clinically a subgroup of women who have so high a cesarean delivery rate as to avoid spontaneous onset of labor or induced labor.METHODS:We conducted a retrospective cohort study (October 2005 to January 2010) on a data set of women who had premature rupture of membranes (PROM) at greater than 24 weeks of gestation, a singleton pregnancy, and a viable fetus without congenital anomalies. Patients were treated in a common way regarding indications for delivery. The primary outcome was cesarean delivery.RESULTS:We identified 1,026 women (comprising 7.9% of all deliveries) who had PROM and met the inclusion criteria. There were 404 with preterm deliveries. One hundred thirty-seven (13.4%) had a contraindication to either labor or vaginal delivery. For women with induction (n=355), vaginal delivery occurred in 82%, whereas for those with spontaneous labor (n=534), vaginal delivery occurred in 87% (P=.03). No clinically defined subgroup had an observed cesarean delivery rate greater than 27%, and in most subgroups, it was lower, even when we built in multiple risk factors, including gestational age less than 34 weeks, chorioamnionitis, abruption, and nulliparity.CONCLUSION:In the absence of a contraindication to labor or to vaginal delivery, the likelihood of vaginal delivery after PROM, with either spontaneous or induced labor, is high, even when we included multiple risk factors for cesarean delivery.LEVEL OF EVIDENCE:II

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