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Committee Opinion Number 480, March 2011

(Reaffirmed 2014)

ABSTRACT: Empathy is the process through which one attempts to project oneself into another's life and imagine a situation from his or her point of view. Most individuals do have an innate capacity to show empathy toward others. Empathy is as important to being a good physician as technical competence. However, at times the health care environment and educational process overly emphasize technological competence, curing disease rather than healing the patient, or the economic aspects of medicine. This may interfere with an empathic approach in the clinical setting. In this Committee Opinion, ...


Committee Opinion Number 479, March 2011

(Reaffirmed 2013)

ABSTRACT: Methamphetamine abuse has continued to increase in the United States since the late 1980s with its use spreading from the West Coast to areas across the country. Methamphetamine use in pregnancy endangers the health of the woman and increases the risk of low birth weight and small for gestational age babies and such use may increase the risk of neurodevelopmental problems in children. All pregnant women should be asked about their drug and alcohol use. Urine toxicology screening may be useful in detecting methamphetamine and other substance abuse during pregnancy, but this screening...


Committee Opinion Number 478, March 2011

(Reaffirmed 2015)

ABSTRACT: Family history plays a critical role in assessing the risk of inherited medical conditions and single gene disorders. Several methods have been established to obtain family medical histories, including the family history questionnaire or checklist and the pedigree. The screening tool selected should be tailored to the practice setting and patient population. It is recommended that all women receive a family history evaluation as a screening tool for inherited risk. Family history information should be reviewed and updated regularly, especially when there are significant changes to f...


Committee Opinion Number 477, March 2011

(Replaces No. 280, December 2002)

ABSTRACT: Epithelial ovarian cancer is most commonly detected in an advanced stage, when the overall 5-year survival rate is 20–30%. Detection of early-stage ovarian cancer results in improved survival. Currently, there is no effective strategy for ovarian cancer screening. Women with persistent and progressive symptoms, such as an increase in bloating, pelvic or abdominal pain, or difficulty eating or feeling full quickly, should be evaluated, with ovarian cancer being included in the differential diagnosis. Evaluation of the symptomatic patient includes physical examination and may include ...


Committee Opinion Number 473, January 2011

(Reaffirmed 2014)

Abstract: Drug enforcement policies that deter women from seeking prenatal care are contrary to the welfare of the mother and fetus. Incarceration and the threat of incarceration have proved to be ineffective in reducing the incidence of alcohol or drug abuse. Obstetrician–gynecologists should be aware of the reporting requirements related to alcohol and drug abuse within their states. They are encouraged to work with state legislators to retract legislation that punishes women for substance abuse during pregnancy.


Committee Opinion Number 471, November 2010

(Replaces No. 316, October 2005. Reaffirmed 2015)

ABSTRACT: Smoking is the one of the most important modifiable causes of poor pregnancy outcomes in the United States, and is associated with maternal, fetal, and infant morbidity and mortality. The physical and psychologic addiction to cigarettes is powerful; however, the compassionate intervention of the obstetrician–gynecologist can be the critical element in prenatal smoking cessation. An office-based protocol that systematically identifies pregnant women who smoke and offers treatment or referral has been proved to increase quit rates. A short counseling session with pregnancy-specific ed...


Committee Opinion Number 466, September 2010

(Reaffirmed 2016)

ABSTRACT: International humanitarian medical efforts provide essential services to patients who would not otherwise have access to specific health care services. The Committees on Ethics and Global Women's Health of the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists encourage College Fellows and other health care professionals to participate in international humanitarian medical efforts for this reason. However, such programs present Fellows with a unique set of practical and ethical challenges. It is important for health care providers to consider these challenges before participating i...


Committee Opinion Number 464, September 2010

(Replaces No. 328, February 2006, Reaffirmed 2014)

ABSTRACT: Ensuring patient safety in the operating room begins before the patient enters the operative suite and includes attention to all applicable types of preventable medical errors (including, for example, medication errors), but surgical errors are unique to this environment. Steps to prevent wrong-site, wrong-person, wrong-procedure errors, or retained foreign objects have been recommended, starting with structured communication between the patient, the surgeon(s), and other members of the health care team. Prevention of surgical errors requires the attention of all personnel involved ...


Committee Opinion Number 462, August 2010

(Reaffirmed 2016)

ABSTRACT: Moderate caffeine consumption (less than 200 mg per day) does not appear to be a major contributing factor in miscarriage or preterm birth. The relationship of caffeine to growth restriction remains undetermined. A final conclusion cannot be made at this time as to whether there is a correlation between high caffeine intake and miscarriage.


Committee Opinion Number 457, June 2010

(Reaffirmed 2016)

ABSTRACT: Emergency plans that specifically address the needs of women, infants, and children during disasters are currently underdeveloped in the United States. Pregnant women, infants, and children are adversely affected by disasters resulting in an increased number of infants with intrauterine growth restriction, low birth weight, and a small head circumference. There is an increased incidence of preterm delivery. To provide for a healthy pregnancy and delivery, pregnant women affected by disasters need to be assured of a continuation of prenatal care. Those in the third trimester should b...


Committee Opinion Number 456, March 2010

(Reaffirmed 2017)

ABSTRACT: In this Committee Opinion, the Committee on Ethics of the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists endorses the College's ongoing efforts to promote a just health care system, explores justifications that inform just health care, and identifies professional responsibilities to guide the College and its members in advancing the cause of health care reform.


Committee Opinion Number 455, March 2010

(Reaffirmed 2016)

Abstract: Numerous large clinical studies have evaluated the evidence regarding magnesium sulfate, neuroprotection, and preterm births. The Committee on Obstetric Practice and the Society for Maternal-Fetal Medicine recognize that none of the individual studies found a benefit with regard to their primary outcome. However, the available evidence suggests that magnesium sulfate given before anticipated early preterm birth reduces the risk of cerebral palsy in surviving infants. Physicians electing to use magnesium sulfate for fetal neuroprotection should develop specific guidelines regarding i...


Committee Opinion Number 447, December 2009

(Reaffirmed 2015, Replaces No. 286, October 2003)

ABSTRACT: Since publication of the Institute of Medicine's landmark report To Err is Human: Building a Safer Health System, emphasis on patient safety has steadily increased. Obstetrician–gynecologists should continuously incorporate elements of patient safety into their practices and also encourage others to use these practices.


Committee Opinion Number 444, November 2009

(Reaffirmed 2011)

Abstract: Hysterectomies are performed vaginally, abdominally, or with laparoscopic or robotic assistance. When choosing the route and method of hysterectomy, the physician should take into consideration how the procedure may be performed most safely and cost-effectively to fulfill the medical needs of the patient. Evidence demonstrates that, in general, vaginal hysterectomy is associated with better outcomes and fewer complications than laparoscopic or abdominal hysterectomy. When it is not feasible to perform a vaginal hysterectomy, the surgeon must choose between laparoscopic hysterectomy,...


195.
October 2009

Committee Opinion Number 443, October 2009

(Replaces No. 264, December 2001, Reaffirmed 2016)

ABSTRACT: In the absence of obstetric or medical complications, pregnant women can observe the same precautions for air travel as the general population and can fly safely. Pregnant women should be instructed to continuously use their seat belts while seated, as should all air travelers. Pregnant air travelers may take precautions to ease in-flight discomfort and, although no hard evidence exists, preventive measures can be used to minimize risks of venous thrombosis. For most air travelers, the risks to the fetus from exposure to cosmic radiation are negligible. For pregnant aircrew members ...


196.
September 2009

Committee Opinion Number 441, September 2009

Reaffirmed 2015

ABSTRACT: There is insufficient evidence to address the safety of any particular fasting period for solids in obstetric patients. Expert opinion supports that patients undergoing either elective cesarean delivery or elective postpartum tubal ligation should undergo a fasting period of 6–8 hours. Adherence to a predetermined fasting period before nonelective surgical procedures (ie, cesarean delivery) is not possible. Therefore, solid foods should be avoided in laboring patients.


Committee Opinion Number 440, August 2009

(Reaffirmed 2015)

ABSTRACT: The clinical approach to postmenopausal bleeding requires prompt and efficient evaluation to exclude or diagnose carcinoma. Women with postmenopausal bleeding may be assessed initially with either endometrial biopsy or transvaginal ultrasonography; this initial evaluation does not require performance of both tests. Transvaginal ultrasonography can be useful in the triage of patients in whom endometrial sampling was performed but tissue was insufficient for diagnosis. When transvaginal ultrasonography is performed for patients with postmenopausal bleeding and an endometrial thickness...


198.
August 2009

Committee Opinion Number 439, August 2009

(Reaffirmed 2015)

ABSTRACT: Obtaining informed consent for medical treatment, for participation in medical research, and for participation in teaching exercises involving students and residents is an ethical requirement that is partially reflected in legal doctrines and requirements. As an ethical doctrine, informed consent is a process of communication whereby a patient is enabled to make an informed and voluntary decision about accepting or declining medical care. In this Committee Opinion, the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists' Committee on Ethics describes the history, ethical basis, and ...


Committee Opinion Number 437, July 2009

Reaffirmed 2016

Abstract: As professional and community leaders, obstetrician–gynecologists have unlimited opportunities to become involved in and have a positive impact on local, national, and international communities and organizations. Volunteering outside of daily work routines often revitalizes a commitment to medicine while serving as a much needed resource to the community.


Committee Opinion Number 434, June 2009

(Reaffirmed 2015, Replaces No. 285, August 2003)

Abstract: The relationship between induced abortion and the subsequent development of breast cancer has been the subject of a substantial amount of epidemiologic study. Early studies of the relationship between prior induced abortion and breast cancer risk were methodologically flawed. More rigorous recent studies demonstrate no causal relationship between induced abortion and a subsequent increase in breast cancer risk.


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