About Careers Internship MedBlogs Contact us
Medindia LOGIN REGISTER
Advertisement

Delaying Premature Delivery - How Safe Is It?

by Thilaka Ravi on October 10, 2012 at 7:47 AM
Font : A-A+

Delaying Premature Delivery - How Safe Is It?

Although premature children tend to have lower cognitive ability than their peers and 14.9 million are born prematurely each year around the world, is it really possible to stop spontaneous preterm labour? Professor Alfirevic from the Department of Women's and Children's Health at the University of Liverpool explores the pros and cons of delaying preterm delivery.

In an accompanying research paper, Haas and colleagues carried out a review of several controlled trials to determine the most cost-effective tocolytic agent. Tocolytic drugs are used to delay delivery for up to 48 hours. This allows time for doctors to give steroids to speed up the baby's lung development and to enable the mother to be transferred to a centre with a neonatal intensive care unit.

Advertisement

And while Professor Alfirevic appreciates that it is important to choose the right tocolytic drug, he argues that Haas and colleagues' study found no evidence that tocolytic drugs improve rates of newborn illness or death.

Furthermore, a separate study which looked at mothers who took antibiotics (erythromycin and co-amoxiclav) to prevent premature birth found an unexpected increase in cerebral palsy among the children.
Advertisement

Professor Alfirevic suggests that instead of focusing studies on the success of tocolytic drugs on delaying preterm birth, larger trials are needed to determine the clinically meaningful effects of the drugs. He says that clinicians "need proof of a sustained improvement in important health outcomes that matter to women" and the evidence, that tocolytics may allow mothers more time to be moved to specialist neonatal units, may not be enough.

Professor Alfirevic says that despite Haas and colleagues' "well done" meta-analysis, the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists' 2011 recommendation that it is reasonable not to use tocolytics still stands.

He concludes that clinicians should be honest and tell women that they are giving them drugs that they hope will prolong pregnancy, but they may not make their babies healthier. And he hopes that "babies are not coming to greater harm by our attempts to keep them in utero."



Source: Eurekalert
Advertisement

Advertisement
News A-Z
A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z
What's New on Medindia
Organ Donation Week 2022 - 'Take the Pledge to Save Lives'
Test your Knowledge on Heart Transplantation
Test Your Knowledge on Lung Transplantation
View all
News Archive
Date
Category
Advertisement
News Category

Medindia Newsletters Subscribe to our Free Newsletters!
Terms & Conditions and Privacy Policy.

Most Popular on Medindia

Drug Side Effects Calculator Turmeric Powder - Health Benefits, Uses & Side Effects Sanatogen Diaphragmatic Hernia Daily Calorie Requirements Blood Donation - Recipients Sinopril (2mg) (Lacidipine) Noscaphene (Noscapine) Blood - Sugar Chart Selfie Addiction Calculator
This site uses cookies to deliver our services. By using our site, you acknowledge that you have read and understand our Cookie Policy, Privacy Policy, and our Terms of Use