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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 657, February 2016

(Replaces Committee Opinion Number 459, July 2010) (Reaffirmed 2017)

ABSTRACT: The term “hospitalist” refers to physicians whose primary professional focus is the general medical care of hospitalized patients. Their activities may include patient care, teaching, research, and inpatient leadership. The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists supports the continued development and study of the obstetric and gynecologic (ob-gyn) hospitalist model as one potential approach to improve patient safety and professional satisfaction across delivery settings. Effective patient handoffs, updates on progress, and clear follow-up instructions between ob-gyn hos...


Committee Opinion Number 590, March 2014

(Replaces Committee Opinion Number 487, April 2011) (Reaffirmed 2018)

ABSTRACT: Patient care emergencies may occur at any time in any setting, particularly the inpatient setting. It is important that obstetrician–gynecologists prepare themselves by assessing potential emergencies, establishing early warning systems, designating specialized first responders, conducting emergency drills, and debriefing staff after actual events to identify strengths and opportunities for improvement. Having such systems in place may reduce or prevent the severity of medical emergencies.


Committee Opinion Number 205, August 1998

Tubal ligation at the time of cesarean delivery requires significant additional physician work even though the technical work of the procedure is brief. Informed consent by the patient requires considerably more counseling by the physician regarding potential risks and benefits of this procedure than is necessary with alternative means of sterilization and contraception. Also, many states require completion of special informed consent documents in addition to the customary consent forms required by hospitals. These forms must be completed before scheduling the procedure.


Committee Opinion Number 652, January 2016

(Replaces Committee Opinion Number 573, September 2013) (Reaffirmed 2018)

ABSTRACT: The U.S. Food and Drug Administration advises against the use of magnesium sulfate injections for more than 5–7 days to stop preterm labor in pregnant women. Based on this, the drug classification was changed from Category A to Category D, and the labeling was changed to include this new warning information. However, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s change in classification addresses an unindicated and nonstandard use of magnesium sulfate in obstetric care. The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists and the Society for Maternal-Fetal Medicine continue to support ...


Committee Opinion Number 559, April 2013

(Reaffirmed 2017)

ABSTRACT: Cesarean delivery on maternal request is defined as a primary prelabor cesarean delivery on maternal request in the absence of any maternal or fetal indications. Potential risks of cesarean delivery on maternal request include a longer maternal hospital stay, an increased risk of respiratory problems for the infant, and greater complications in subsequent pregnancies, including uterine rupture, placental implantation problems, and the need for hysterectomy. Potential short-term benefits of planned cesarean delivery compared with a planned vaginal delivery (including women who give b...


Committee Opinion Number 275, September 2002

(Replaces No. 121, April 1993, Reaffirmed 2016)

ABSTRACT: Effective rehabilitation and modern reproductive technology may increase the number of women considering pregnancy who have spinal cord injuries (SCIs). It is important that obstetricians caring for these patients are aware of the specific problems related to SCIs. Autonomic dysreflexia is the most significant medical complication seen in women with SCIs, and precautions should be taken to avoid stimuli that can lead to this potentially fatal syndrome. Women with SCIs may give birth vaginally, but when cesarean delivery is indicated, adequate anesthesia (spinal or epidural if possib...


Committee Opinion Number 712, August 2017

ABSTRACT: Intraamniotic infection, also known as chorioamnionitis, is an infection with resultant inflammation of any combination of the amniotic fluid, placenta, fetus, fetal membranes, or decidua. Intraamniotic infection is a common condition noted among preterm and term parturients. However, most cases of intraamniotic infection detected and managed by obstetrician–gynecologists or other obstetric care providers will be noted among term patients in labor. Intraamniotic infection can be associated with acute neonatal morbidity, including neonatal pneumonia, meningitis, sepsis, and death. Ma...


9.
November 2013

Committee Opinion Number 579, November 2013

(Reaffirmed 2017)

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 ...


10.
September 2009

Committee Opinion Number 441, September 2009

Reaffirmed 2017

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 684, January 2017

(Replaces Committee Opinion Number 543, December 2012) (Reaffirmed 2018)

ABSTRACT: Delayed umbilical cord clamping appears to be beneficial for term and preterm infants. In term infants, delayed umbilical cord clamping increases hemoglobin levels at birth and improves iron stores in the first several months of life, which may have a favorable effect on developmental outcomes. There is a small increase in jaundice that requires phototherapy in this group of infants. Consequently, health care providers adopting delayed umbilical cord clamping in term infants should ensure that mechanisms are in place to monitor for and treat neonatal jaundice. In preterm infants, de...


Committee Opinion Number 671, September 2016

(Replaces Committee Opinion No. 324, November 2005) (Reaffirmed 2018)

ABSTRACT: Over the past decades, the use of assisted reproductive technology (ART) has increased dramatically worldwide and has made pregnancy possible for many infertile couples. Although the perinatal risks that may be associated with ART and ovulation induction are much higher in multifetal gestations, even singletons achieved with ART and ovulation induction may be at higher risk than singletons from naturally occurring pregnancies. However, it remains unclear to what extent these associations might be related to the underlying cause(s) of infertility. Before initiating ART or ovulation i...


Committee Opinion Number 346, October 2006

(Reaffirmed 2018)

ABSTRACT: Amnioinfusion has been advocated as a technique to reduce the incidence of meconium aspiration and to improve neonatal outcome. However, a large proportion of women with meconium-stained amniotic fluid have infants who have taken in meconium within the trachea or bronchioles before meconium passage has been noted and before amnioinfusion can be performed by the obstetrician; meconium passage may predate labor. Based on current literature, routine prophylactic amnioinfusion for the dilution of meconium-stained amniotic fluid is not recommended. Prophylactic use of amnioinfusion for m...


Committee Opinion Number 689, March 2017

ABSTRACT: In 2006, the American Academy of Pediatrics and the American Heart Association published the 2005 guidelines on neonatal resuscitation. Before the 2005 guidelines, management of a newborn with meconium-stained amniotic fluid included suctioning of the oropharynx and nasopharynx on the perineum after the delivery of the head but before the delivery of the shoulders. The 2005 guidelines did not support this practice because routine intrapartum suctioning does not prevent or alter the course of meconium aspiration syndrome in vigorous newborns. However, the 2005 guidelines did support ...


Committee Opinion Number 692, April 2017

(Replaces Committee Opinion No. 623, February 2015)

ABSTRACT: Acute-onset, severe systolic hypertension; severe diastolic hypertension; or both can occur during the prenatal, intrapartum, or postpartum periods. Pregnant women or women in the postpartum period with acute-onset, severe systolic hypertension; severe diastolic hypertension; or both require urgent antihypertensive therapy. Introducing standardized, evidence-based clinical guidelines for the management of patients with preeclampsia and eclampsia has been demonstrated to reduce the incidence of adverse maternal outcomes. Individuals and institutions should have mechanisms in place to...


16.
March 2018

Committee Opinion Number 731, March 2018

ABSTRACT: Individual prenatal care is intended to prevent poor perinatal outcomes and provide education to women throughout pregnancy, childbirth, and the postpartum period through a series of one-on-one encounters between a woman and her obstetrician or other obstetric care provider. Concerns regarding increasing health care costs, health care provider availability, dissatisfaction with wait times, and the minimal opportunity for education and support associated with the individual care model have given rise to interest in alternative models of prenatal care. One alternative model, group pre...


Committee Opinion Number 667, July 2016

(Reaffirmed 2018)

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 ...


18.
November 2017

Committee Opinion Number 725, November 2017

ABSTRACT: Vaginal seeding refers to the practice of inoculating a cotton gauze or a cotton swab with vaginal fluids to transfer the vaginal flora to the mouth, nose, or skin of a newborn infant. The intended purpose of vaginal seeding is to transfer maternal vaginal bacteria to the newborn. As the increase in the frequency of asthma, atopic disease, and immune disorders mirrors the increase in the rate of cesarean delivery, the theory of vaginal seeding is to allow for proper colonization of the fetal gut and, therefore, reduce the subsequent risk of asthma, atopic disease, and immune disorde...


Committee Opinion Number 485, April 2011

(Replaces No. 279, December 2002, Reaffirmed 2016)

ABSTRACT: In 2010, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention revised its guidelines for the prevention of perinatal group B streptococcal disease. Although universal screening at 35–37 weeks of gestation and intrapartum antibiotic prophylaxis continue to be the basis of the prevention strategy, these new guidelines contain important changes for clinical practice. The Committee on Obstetric Practice endorses the new Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommendations, and recognizes that even complete implementation of this complex strategy will not eliminate all cases of early-ons...


Committee Opinion Number 713, August 2017

(Replaces Committee Opinion No. 677, October 2016) (Reaffirmed 2018)

ABSTRACT: Corticosteroid administration before anticipated preterm birth is one of the most important antenatal therapies available to improve newborn outcomes. A single course of corticosteroids is recommended for pregnant women between 24 0/7 weeks and 33 6/7 weeks of gestation who are at risk of preterm delivery within 7 days, including for those with ruptured membranes and multiple gestations. It also may be considered for pregnant women starting at 23 0/7 weeks of gestation who are at risk of preterm delivery within 7 days, based on a family’s decision regarding resuscitation, irrespecti...


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