FIGO good practice recommendations for preterm labor and preterm prelabor rupture of membranes: Prep-for-Labor triage to minimize risks and maximize favorable outcomes.
Ubom AE., Vatish M., Barnea ER., FIGO Childbirth and Postpartum Hemorrhage Committee None.
Preterm labor occurs in around 10% of pregnancies worldwide. Once diagnosed, significant efforts must be made to reduce the likelihood of morbidity and mortality associated with preterm birth. In high-resource settings, access to hospitals with a neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) is readily available, whereas access to NICU care is limited in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs) and many rural settings. Use of FIGO's Prep-for-Labor triage method rapidly identifies low- and high-risk patients with preterm labor to enable clinicians to decide whether the patient can be managed on site or if transfer to a level II-IV facility is needed. The management steps described in this paper aim to minimize the morbidity and mortality associated with preterm labor and in the setting of preterm labor with preterm premature rupture of membranes (PPROM). The methods for accurate diagnosis of PPROM and chorioamnionitis are described. When the risk of preterm birth is high, antenatal corticosteroids should be administered for lung maturation combined with limited tocolysis for 48 hours to permit the corticosteroid course to be completed. Magnesium sulfate is also administered for fetal neuroprotection. Implementation of FIGO's Prep-for-Labor triage method in an LMIC setting will help improve maternal and neonatal outcomes.