Management of preterm prelabour rupture of membranes: An audit. How do the results compare with clinical practice guidelines?

Michelle Giles, Suzanne Garland, Jeremy J N Oats

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Background: Preterm prelabour rupture of membranes is a common clinical event. It is associated with infection in approximately 50% of cases. Clinical practice guidelines have been developed at the Royal Women's Hospital, Melbourne, Australia for investigation and management of this condition. Aim: To perform an audit of management of women presenting with this diagnosis and assess how inpatient management compares with the Hospital's current clinical practice guideline and how the clinical practice guideline compares with the evidence in the literature. Methods: Retrospective audit over a 3-month period collecting data on maternal age, gestation, microbiological results, other investigations, pharmacological treatment and outcome. Results: All the 56 women admitted for this reason received at least one dose of antibiotic, most commonly erythromycin. More than two thirds of patients had the antibiotic changed at least once during their admission. Ten patients were prescribed intravenous antibiotics without a clear indication. Sixty-four percent received steroids for lung maturation of the neonate and 30% received tocolysis with nifedipine. Almost two thirds of patients delivered within 7 days and there were four neonatal deaths. Conclusion: In general management of women with premature rupture of membranes is in keeping with the current clinical practice guideline at the Royal Women's Hospital although antibiotic prescribing and management of Group B streptococcus colonisation could be improved. In addition, routine measurement of C reactive protein should cease. The current clinical practice guideline should be modified to reflect the current evidence in the literature.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)201-206
Number of pages6
JournalAustralian and New Zealand Journal of Obstetrics and Gynaecology
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jun 2005
Externally publishedYes


  • Clinical practice guidelines
  • Infection
  • Premature rupture membranes

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