Preterm premature rupture of membranes is the rupture of membranes during pregnancy before 37 weeks' gestation. It occurs in 3 percent of pregnancies and is the cause of approximately one third of preterm deliveries. It can lead to significant perinatal morbidity, including respiratory distress syndrome, neonatal sepsis, umbilical cord prolapse, placental abruption, and fetal death. Appropriate evaluation and management are important for improving neonatal outcomes. Speculum examination to determine cervical dilation is preferred because digital examination is associated with a decreased latent period and with the potential for adverse sequelae. Treatment varies depending on gestational age and includes consideration of delivery when rupture of membranes occurs at or after 34 weeks' gestation. Corticosteroids can reduce many neonatal complications, particularly intraventricular hemorrhage and respiratory distress syndrome, and antibiotics are effective for increasing the latency period.
over 5 years ago