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Committee Opinion Number 551, January 2013

(Reaffirmed 2016. Replaces Committee Opinion Number 497, August 2011)

ABSTRACT: Obstetrician–gynecologists should recognize that being a defendant in a medical professional liability lawsuit can be one of life’s most stressful experiences. Negative emotions in response to a lawsuit are normal, and physicians may need help from family members, peers, or professionals to cope with this stress. Open communication will assist in reducing emotional isolation and self-blame. However, pertinent legal and clinical aspects of a case must be kept confidential, except for disclosure within the confines of a protected counselor–patient relationship as determined by state l...


162.
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 547, December 2012

Abstract: Military service is associated with unique risks to women’s reproductive health. As increasing numbers of women are serving in the military, and a greater proportion of United States Veterans are women, it is essential that obstetrician–-gynecologists are aware of and well prepared to address the unique health care needs of this demographic group. Obstetrician–-gynecologists should ask about women’s military service, know the Veteran status of their patients, and be aware of high prevalence problems (eg, posttraumatic stress disorder, intimate partner violence, and military sexual t...


164.
December 2012

Committee Opinion Number 546, December 2012

(Reaffirmed 2016. Replaces No. 461, August 2010)

ABSTRACT: An accurate and effective tracking or reminder system is useful for the modern practice of obstetrics and gynecology. Practices should not rely solely on the patient to complete all ordered studies and to follow up on health care provider recommendations. Health care providers should encourage their patients to complete studies believed essential for patient care within an acceptable time frame. Each office should establish a simple, reliable tracking and reminder system to facilitate communication, improve patient safety and quality of care, and minimize missed or delayed diagnoses.


Committee Opinion Number 544, December 2012

(Reaffirmed 2018)

ABSTRACT: Unintended pregnancy remains a major public health problem in the United States. Access and cost issues are common reasons why women either do not use contraception or have gaps in use. A potential way to improve contraceptive access and use, and possibly decrease unintended pregnancy rates, is to allow over-the-counter access to oral contraceptives (OCs). Screening for cervical cancer or sexually transmitted infections is not medically required to provide hormonal contraception. Concerns include payment for pharmacist services, payment for over-the-counter OCs by insurers, and the ...


Committee Opinion Number 541, November 2012

(Replaces No. 401, March 2008, Reaffirmed 2015)

ABSTRACT: The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (the College) has a long history of leadership in ensuring that its educational mission is evidence based and unbiased. A predecessor to this Committee Opinion was published in 1985, making the College one of the first professional associations to provide guidance on this issue. The College has continued to update the ethical guidance on physician interactions with industry periodically. Obstetrician–gynecologists’ relationships with industry should be structured in a manner that will enhance, rather than detract from, their ob...


Committee Opinion Number 540, November 2012

(Reaffirmed 2018)

ABSTRACT: Although the risk of venous thromboembolism is increased among oral contraceptive users compared with nonusers who are not pregnant and not taking hormones, and some data have suggested that use of drospirenone-containing pills has a higher risk of venous thromboembolism, this risk is still very low and is much lower than the risk of venous thromboembolism during pregnancy and the immediate postpartum period. When prescribing any oral contraceptive, clinicians should consider a woman’s risk factors for venous thromboembolism and refer to the U.S. Medical Eligibility Criteria for Con...


168.
October 2012

Committee Opinion Number 537, October 2012

(Reaffirmed 2017)

ABSTRACT: The reprocessing and reuse of single-use instruments has become increasingly common. Although there are limited data on reprocessed single-use devices, existing studies have found a significant rate of physical defects, performance issues, or improper decontamination. There are currently no data in the medical literature of studies evaluating the cost-effectiveness of reprocessed single-use devices in gynecologic surgery. The use of a reprocessed single-use device provides no direct benefit to an individual patient or her physician. It is the operating surgeon’s ethical responsibili...


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...


170.
August 2012

Committee Opinion Number 534, August 2012

(Reaffirmed 2016)

Abstract: The annual health assessment (“annual examination”) is a fundamental part of medical care and is valuable in promoting prevention practices, recognizing risk factors for disease, identifying medical problems, and establishing the clinician–patient relationship. The annual health assessment should include screening, evaluation and counseling, and immunizations based on age and risk factors. The interval for specific individual services and the scope of services provided may vary in different ambulatory care settings. The performance of a physical examination is a key part of an annua...


Committee Opinion Number 533, August 2012

(Reaffirmed 2018)

Abstract: Prenatal lead exposure has known adverse effects on maternal health and infant outcomes across a wide range of maternal blood lead levels. Adverse effects of lead exposure are being identified at lower levels of exposure than previously recognized in both children and adults. In 2010, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention issued the first guidelines regarding the screening and management of pregnant and lactating women who have been exposed to lead.


Committee Opinion Number 532, August 2012

(Replaces No. 387, November 2007 and No. 322, November 2005) (Reaffirmed 2018)

ABSTRACT: Although improvement in long-term health is no longer an indication for menopausal hormone therapy, evidence supporting fewer adverse events in younger women, combined with its high overall effectiveness, has reinforced its usefulness for short-term treatment of menopausal symptoms. Menopausal therapy has been provided not only by commercially available products but also by compounding, or creation of an individualized preparation in response to a health care provider’s prescription to create a medication tailored to the specialized needs of an individual patient. The Women’s Health...


173.
August 2012

Committee Opinion Number 531, August 2012

(Reaffirmed 2016. Replaces No. 331, April 2006 and No. 400, March 2008)

ABSTRACT: Despite significant national attention, medical errors continue to pervade the U.S. health care system. Medication-related errors consistently rank at the top of all medical errors, which account for thousands of preventable deaths annually in the United States. There are a variety of methods—ranging from broad-based error reduction strategies to the adoption of sophisticated health information technologies—that can assist obstetrician–gynecologists in minimizing the risk of medication errors. Practicing obstetrician–gynecologists should be familiar with these various approaches tha...


Committee Opinion Number 530, July 2012

(Reaffirmed 2016)

ABSTRACT: Postpartum tubal sterilization is one of the safest and most effective methods of contraception. Women who desire this type of sterilization typically undergo thorough counseling and informed consent during prenatal care and reiterate their desire for postpartum sterilization at the time of their hospital admission. Not all women who desire postpartum sterilization actually undergo the surgical procedure, and women with unfulfilled requests for postpartum sterilization have a high rate of repeat pregnancy (approaching 50%) within the following year. Potentially correctable barriers ...


175.
July 2012

Committee Opinion Number 529, July 2012

(Reaffirmed 2017)

ABSTRACT: Placenta accreta is a potentially life-threatening obstetric condition that requires a multidisciplinary approach to management. The incidence of placenta accreta has increased and seems to parallel the increasing cesarean delivery rate. Women at greatest risk of placenta accreta are those who have myometrial damage caused by a previous cesarean delivery with either an anterior or posterior placenta previa overlying the uterine scar. Diagnosis of placenta accreta before delivery allows multidisciplinary planning in an attempt to minimize potential maternal or neonatal morbidity and ...


176.
June 2012

Committee Opinion Number 528, June 2012

(Replaces No. 368, June 2007) (Reaffirmed 2018)

ABSTRACT: Obstetrician–gynecologists may find themselves at the center of adoption issues because of their expertise in the assessment and management of infertility, pregnancy, and childbirth. The lack of clarity about both ethical issues and legal consequences may create challenges for physicians. Therefore, the Committee on Ethics of the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists discusses ethical issues, proposes safeguards, and makes recommendations regarding the role of the physician in adoption.


Committee Opinion Number 525, May 2012

(Reaffirmed 2016)

ABSTRACT: Lesbians and bisexual women encounter barriers to health care that include concerns about confidentiality and disclosure, discriminatory attitudes and treatment, limited access to health care and health insurance, and often a limited understanding as to what their health risks may be. Health care providers should offer quality care to all women regardless of sexual orientation. The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists endorses equitable treatment for lesbians and bisexual women and their families, not only for direct health care needs, but also for indirect health car...


Committee Opinion Number 523, May 2012

(Reaffirmed 2014)

ABSTRACT: Re-entering the practice of obstetrics and gynecology after a period of inactivity can pose a number of obstacles for a physician. Preparing for the leave of absence may help reduce the difficulties physicians may face upon re-entering practice.


179.
February 2012

Committee Opinion Number 518, February 2012

ABSTRACT: Intimate partner violence (IPV) is a significant yet preventable public health problem that affects millions of women regardless of age, economic status, race, religion, ethnicity, sexual orientation, or educational background. Individuals who are subjected to IPV may have lifelong consequences, including emotional trauma, lasting physical impairment, chronic health problems, and even death. Although women of all ages may experience IPV, it is most prevalent among women of reproductive age and contributes to gynecologic disorders, pregnancy complications, unintended pregnancy, and s...


Committee Opinion Number 517, February 2012

(Replaces No. 367, June 2007) (Reaffirmed 2018)

ABSTRACT: Handoff communication, which includes up-to-date information regarding patient care, treatment and service, condition, and any recent or anticipated changes, should be interactive to allow for discussion between those who give and receive patient information. It requires a process for verification of the received information, including read-back or other methods, as appropriate.


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