American journal of obstetrics and gynecology

Evaluation of strategies regarding management of imminent preterm delivery before 32 weeks of gestation: a regional cohort study among 1375 women in the Netherlands.

PMID 25447962


To evaluate the management of imminent preterm delivery with respect to prescription of antenatal corticosteroids (ACS) and referral to a tertiary center. A retrospective cohort study existing of 1 perinatal center and 9 referring hospitals. All women who received their first dose of ACS in 1 of the 10 hospitals between 24+0 and 32+0 weeks of gestation and/or delivered before 32 weeks of gestation from 2005 until 2010. Patients were identified using the electronic database of hospital pharmacies. Main outcome measures were time interval from administration to delivery for different indications and number of women who were not referred in time to a tertiary center. In total, 1375 women received ACS. Main indications were suspected preterm labor (44.7%), preterm prelabor rupture of membranes (15.9%), maternal indication (12.8%), fetal indication (9.2%) and vaginal blood loss (8.4%). Overall, 467 (34.0%) women delivered ≤7 days after ACS administration; 8.7% of women with vaginal blood loss and 54.5% of women with maternal indication. Among the 931 women who received ACS in the secondary hospitals, 452 (48.5%) women were referred to a tertiary hospital and 89 (6.5%) women delivered in a secondary hospital with a gestational age of less than 32 weeks. One-third of all women receiving ACS delivered within 7 days and half of the women who received ACS in a secondary hospital were referred to a tertiary center. There seems to be room for improvement regarding the timing of ACS administration and subsequently referral to a tertiary center.