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Committee Opinion Number 667, July 2016

ABSTRACT: Emergency departments typically have structured triage guidelines for health care providers encountering the diverse cases that may present to their units. Such guidelines aid in determining which patients must be evaluated promptly and which may wait safely, and aid in determining anticipated use of resources. Although labor and delivery units frequently serve as emergency units for pregnant women, the appropriate structure, location, timing, and timeliness for hospital-based triage evaluations of obstetric patients are not always clear. Hospital-based obstetric units are urged to ...


Committee Opinion Number 664, June 2016

(Replaces Committee Opinion Number 321, November 2005)

ABSTRACT: One of the most challenging scenarios in obstetric care occurs when a pregnant patient refuses recommended medical treatment that aims to support her well-being, her fetus’s well-being, or both. In such circumstances, the obstetrician–gynecologist’s ethical obligation to safeguard the pregnant woman’s autonomy may conflict with the ethical desire to optimize the health of the fetus. Forced compliance—the alternative to respecting a patient’s refusal of treatment—raises profoundly important issues about patient rights, respect for autonomy, violations of bodily integrity, power diffe...


Committee Opinion Number 661, April 2016

ABSTRACT: Immunization against vaccine-preventable diseases is an essential component of women’s primary and preventive health care. Despite the importance of vaccination and clear guidance from public health agencies, rates of vaccination lag behind national goals. Obstetrician–gynecologists can play a major role in reducing morbidity and mortality from a range of vaccine-preventable diseases, including pertussis, influenza, human papillomavirus, and hepatitis. Given demonstrated vaccine efficacy and safety, and the large potential for prevention of many infectious diseases that affect adult...


Committee Opinion Number 660, March 2016

(Replaces Committee Opinion No. 397, February 2008)

ABSTRACT: Gestational surrogacy is an increasingly common form of family building that can allow individuals or a couple to become parents despite circumstances in which carrying a pregnancy is biologically impossible or medically contraindicated. The practice of gestational surrogacy involves a woman known as a gestational carrier who agrees to bear a genetically unrelated child with the help of assisted reproductive technologies for an individual or couple who intend(s) to be the legal and rearing parent(s), referred to as the intended parent(s). Obstetrician–gynecologists may become involv...


Committee Opinion Number 656, February 2016

(Replaces Committee Opinion Number 299, September 2004)

ABSTRACT: Imaging studies are important adjuncts in the diagnostic evaluation of acute and chronic conditions. However, confusion about the safety of these modalities for pregnant and lactating women and their infants often results in unnecessary avoidance of useful diagnostic tests or the unnecessary interruption of breastfeeding. Ultrasonography and magnetic resonance imaging are not associated with risk and are the imaging techniques of choice for the pregnant patient, but they should be used prudently and only when use is expected to answer a relevant clinical question or otherwise provid...


Committee Opinion Number 643, October 2015

ABSTRACT: Advances in the understanding of genetic conditions, reproductive technologies, and improved medical and surgical care have enabled an increasing number of women with genetic conditions to achieve a normal pregnancy outcome. However, management of certain genetic conditions during pregnancy is complex and may require a multidisciplinary approach from preconception through the postpartum period. Patients with certain genetic conditions, or those at risk of having a particular genetic condition, should have a preconception evaluation with their obstetrician–gynecologists, genetics spe...


Committee Opinion Number 640, September 2015

(This Committee Opinion Replaces Committee Opinion Number 545)

ABSTRACT: Noninvasive prenatal screening that uses cell-free DNA from the plasma of pregnant women offers tremendous potential as a screening method for fetal aneuploidy. A number of laboratories have validated different techniques for the use of cell-free DNA as a screening test for fetal aneuploidy. All tests have a high sensitivity and specificity for trisomy 18 and trisomy 21, regardless of which molecular technique is used. Women whose results are not reported, indeterminate, or uninterpretable (a “no call” test result) from cell-free DNA screening should receive further genetic counseli...


Committee Opinion Number 638, September 2015

ABSTRACT: Hypertensive disorders with adverse sequelae (including preterm birth, maternal morbidity and mortality, and long-term risk of maternal cardiovascular disease) complicate 5–10% of pregnancies. Early identification of pregnant women at risk of developing early-onset preeclampsia would theoretically allow referral for more intensive surveillance or application of preventive therapies to reduce the risk of severe disease. In practice, however, the effectiveness of such triage would be hindered by the low positive predictive value for early-onset preeclampsia reported in the literature....


Committee Opinion Number 637, July 2015

ABSTRACT: Cannabis sativa (marijuana) is the illicit drug most commonly used during pregnancy. The self-reported prevalence of marijuana use during pregnancy ranges from 2% to 5% in most studies. A growing number of states are legalizing marijuana for medicinal or recreational purposes, and its use by pregnant women could increase even further as a result. Because of concerns regarding impaired neurodevelopment, as well as maternal and fetal exposure to the adverse effects of smoking, women who are pregnant or contemplating pregnancy should be encouraged to discontinue marijuana use. Obstetri...


Committee Opinion Number 636, June 2015

(Replaces Committee Opinion Number 449, December 2009)

ABSTRACT: Phenylketonuria (PKU) is an autosomal recessive disorder of phenylalanine (Phe) metabolism characterized by deficient activity of the hepatic enzyme, phenylalanine hydroxylase. Increased blood Phe levels are toxic to a variety of tissues, particularly the developing fetal brain. The mainstay of treatment for PKU is the dietary restriction of Phe, which results in decreased blood Phe levels. Lifelong dietary restriction and therapy improves quality of life in patients with PKU and should be encouraged. Genetic counseling is recommended for all reproductive-aged women with PKU, and sh...


Committee Opinion Number 635, June 2015

(Replaces Committee Opinion Number 418, September 2008, Reaffirmed 2016)

ABSTRACT: Given the enormous advances in the prevention of perinatal transmission of human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), it is clear that early identification and treatment of all pregnant women with HIV is the best way to prevent neonatal infection and also improve women’s health. Furthermore, new evidence suggests that early initiation of antiretroviral therapy in the course of infection is beneficial for individuals infected with HIV and reduces the rate of sexual transmission to partners who are not infected. Screening should be performed after women have been notified that HIV screening ...


Committee Opinion Number 630, May 2015

(Replaces Committee Opinion Number 453, February 2010, Reaffirmed 2016)

ABSTRACT: Perinatal depression, which includes major and minor depressive episodes that occur during pregnancy or in the first 12 months after delivery, is one of the most common medical complications during pregnancy and the postpartum period, affecting one in seven women. It is important to identify pregnant and postpartum women with depression because untreated perinatal depression and other mood disorders can have devastating effects on women, infants, and families. Several screening instruments have been validated for use during pregnancy and the postpartum period. Although definitive ev...


Committee Opinion Number 627, March 2015

(Replaces Committee Opinion Number 425, January 2009)

ABSTRACT: Unauthorized (undocumented) immigrants are less likely than other residents of the United States to have health insurance. The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists has long supported a basic health care package for all women living within the United States without regard to their country of origin or documentation. Providing access to quality health care for unauthorized immigrants and their children, who often were born in the United States and have U.S. citizenship, is essential to improving the nation’s public health.


Committee Opinion Number 608, September 2014

(Reaffirmed 2016. Replaces Committee Opinion Number 468, October 2010)

ABSTRACT: The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices and the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists recommend that all adults receive an annual influenza vaccine. Influenza vaccination is an essential element of preconception, prenatal, and postpartum care because pregnant women are at an increased risk of serious illness due to seasonal and pandemic influenza. Since 2010, influenza vaccination rates among pregnant women have increased but still need significant improvement. It is particularly important that women who are or will...


15.
November 2013

Committee Opinion Number 579, November 2013

Reaffirmed 2015

ABSTRACT: In the past, the period from 3 weeks before until 2 weeks after the estimated date of delivery was considered “term,” with the expectation that neonatal outcomes from deliveries in this interval were uniform and good. Increasingly, however, research has shown that neonatal outcomes, especially respiratory morbidity, vary depending on the timing of delivery within this 5-week gestational age range. To address this lack of uniformity, a work group was convened in late 2012, which recommended that the label “term” be replaced with the designations early term (37 0/7 weeks of gestation ...


Committee Opinion Number 569, August 2013

(Reaffirmed 2015)

ABSTRACT: Oral health is an important component of general health and should be maintained during pregnancy and through a woman’s lifespan. Maintaining good oral health may have a positive effect on cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and other disorders. In 2007–2009, 35% of U.S. women reported that they did not have a dental visit within the past year and 56% of women did not visit a dentist during pregnancy. Access to dental care is directly related to income level; the poorest women are least likely to have received dental care. Optimal maternal oral hygiene during the perinatal period may ...


Committee Opinion Number 566, June 2013

(Replaces No. 521, March 2012, Reaffirmed 2016)

ABSTRACT: In the face of dramatic and persistent increases in pertussis disease in the United States, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices has updated its guidelines for the use of the tetanus toxoid, reduced diphtheria toxoid and acellular pertussis vaccine (Tdap) for pregnant women. The new guidance was issued based on an imperative to minimize the significant burden of pertussis disease in vulnerable newborns, the reassuring safety data on the use of Tdap in adults, and the evolving immunogenicity data that demonstrate considerable w...


Committee Opinion Number 563, May 2013

(Reaffirmed 2016)

ABSTRACT: Pregnant women traditionally have been assigned priority in the allocation of prevention and treatment resources during outbreaks of influenza because of their increased risk of morbidity and mortality. The Committee on Ethics of the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists explores ethical justifications for assigning priority for prevention and treatment resources to pregnant women during an influenza pandemic, makes recommendations to incorporate ethical issues in pandemic influenza planning concerning pregnant women, and calls for pandemic preparedness efforts to incl...


19.
January 2013

Committee Opinion Number 548, January 2013

(Reaffirmed 2016)

ABSTRACT: The updated guidelines by the Institute of Medicine regarding gestational weight gain provide clinicians with a basis for practice. Health care providers who care for pregnant women should determine a woman’s body mass index at the initial prenatal visit and counsel her regarding the benefits of appropriate weight gain, nutrition and exercise, and, especially, the need to limit excessive weight gain to achieve best pregnancy outcomes. Individualized care and clinical judgment are necessary in the management of the overweight or obese woman who is gaining (or wishes to gain) less wei...


Committee Opinion Number 535, August 2012

ABSTRACT: Increasing numbers of women and adolescent females are incarcerated each year in the United States and they represent an increasing proportion of inmates in the U.S. correctional system. Incarcerated women and adolescent females often come from disadvantaged environments and have high rates of chronic illness, substance abuse, and undetected health problems. Most of these females are of reproductive age and are at high risk of unintended pregnancy and sexually transmitted infections, including human immunodeficiency virus (HIV). Understanding the needs of incarcerated women and adol...


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