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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 678, November 2016

ABSTRACT: Current sexuality education programs vary widely in the accuracy of content, emphasis, and effectiveness. Data have shown that not all programs are equally effective for all ages, races and ethnicities, socioeconomic groups, and geographic areas. Studies have demonstrated that comprehensive sexuality education programs reduce the rates of sexual activity, sexual risk behaviors (eg, number of partners and unprotected intercourse), sexually transmitted infections, and adolescent pregnancy. One key component of an effective program is encouraging community-centered efforts. In addition...


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

(Reaffirmed 2016. Replaces Committee Opinion Number 487, April 2011)

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 511, November 2011

Reaffirmed 2016

ABSTRACT: Clinicians who provide care for incarcerated women should be aware of the special health care needs of pregnant incarcerated women and the specific issues related to the use of restraints during pregnancy and the postpartum period. The use of restraints on pregnant incarcerated women and adolescents may not only compromise health care but is demeaning and rarely necessary.


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 ...


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...


Committee Opinion Number 532, August 2012

(Reaffirmed 2016, Replaces No. 387, November 2007 and No. 322, November 2005)

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...


Committee Opinion Number 571, September 2013

(Reaffirmed 2017)

ABSTRACT: Currently, only povidone-iodine preparations are approved for vaginal surgical-site antisepsis. However, there are compelling reasons to consider chlorhexidine gluconate solutions for off-label use in surgical preparation of the vagina, especially in women with allergies to iodine. Although chlorhexidine gluconate solutions with high concentrations of alcohol are contraindicated for surgical preparation of the vagina, solutions with low concentrations of alcohol (eg, 4%) are both safe and effective for off-label use as vaginal surgical preparations and may be used as an alternative ...


Committee Opinion Number 726, December 2017

(Replaces Committee Opinion Number 555, March 2013)

ABSTRACT: Large-scale catastrophic events and infectious disease outbreaks highlight the need for disaster planning at all community levels. Features unique to the obstetric population (including antepartum, intrapartum, postpartum and neonatal care) warrant special consideration in the event of a disaster. Pregnancy increases the risks of untoward outcomes from various infectious diseases. Trauma during pregnancy presents anatomic and physiologic considerations that often can require increased use of resources such as higher rates of cesarean delivery. Recent evidence suggests that floods an...


Committee Opinion Number 688, March 2017

ABSTRACT: The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists considers first-trimester ultrasonography to be the most accurate method to establish or confirm gestational age. Pregnancies without an ultrasonographic examination confirming or revising the estimated due date before 22 0/7 weeks of gestation should be considered suboptimally dated. This document provides guidance for managing pregnancies in which the best clinical estimate of gestational age is suboptimal. There is no role for elective delivery in a woman with a suboptimally dated pregnancy. Although guidelines for indicated...


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...


Committee Opinion Number 234, May 2000

(Replaces No. 219, August 1999, Reaffirmed 2017)

Prevention of transmission of the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) from mother to fetus or newborn (vertical transmission) is a major goal in the care of pregnant women infected with HIV. An important advance in this regard was the demonstration that treatment of the mother with zidovudine (ZDV) during pregnancy and labor and of the neonate for the first 6 weeks after birth could reduce the transmission rate from 25% to 8% (1). Continuing research into vertical transmission of HIV suggests that a substantial number of cases occur as the result of fetal exposure to the virus during labor a...


Committee Opinion Number 346, October 2006

(Reaffirmed 2016)

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 671, September 2016

(Replaces Committee Opinion No. 324, November 2005)

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 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...


17.
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.


18.
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 ...


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 652, January 2016

(Reaffirmed 2016. Replaces Committee Opinion Number 573, September 2013)

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 ...


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