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Management of preterm labour

      Abstract

      Preterm birth is defined as birth before 37 weeks of gestation and is the single biggest cause of neonatal morbidity and mortality. The UK preterm birth rate has increased to 8.6% and this is despite advances in prediction of those at risk, prevention strategies and treatment. Transvaginal ultrasound and foetal fibronectin have been the major advances in the prediction of preterm labour, and with the use of both of these tests it may be possible to predict up to 75% of those who will deliver prematurely. At best, tocolytics are able to delay preterm labour long enough for the administration of corticosteroids. Labour involves complex and co-ordinated events, greater knowledge of which is necessary to understand processes involved in premature labour and advance healthcare in this field.

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      Further reading

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