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Committee Opinion Number 696, April 2017

(Replaces Committee Opinion Number 474, February 2011)

ABSTRACT: The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists' Committee on Obstetric Practice acknowledges that the issue of nonobstetric surgery during pregnancy is an important concern for physicians who care for women. It is important for a physician to obtain an obstetric consultation before performing nonobstetric surgery and some invasive procedures (eg, cardiac catheterization or colonoscopy) because obstetricians are uniquely qualified to discuss aspects of maternal physiology and anatomy that may affect intraoperative maternal–fetal well-being. Ultimately, each case warrants a t...


Committee Opinion Number 693, April 2017

ABSTRACT: Given the increasing availability and complexity of genetic testing, it is imperative that the practicing obstetrician–gynecologist or other health care provider has a firm comprehension of the benefits, limitations, and risks of offering a specific genetic test, as well as the importance of appropriate pretest and posttest counseling. The purpose of this Committee Opinion is to provide an outline of how obstetrician–gynecologists and other health care providers can best incorporate these tests into their current practices and provide appropriate pretest and posttest counseling to p...


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...


Committee Opinion Number 691, March 2017

(Replaces Committee Opinion Number 318, October 2005;
Committee Opinion Number 432, May 2009;
Committee Opinion Number 442, October 2009;
Committee Opinion Number 469, October 2010;
Committee Opinion Number 486, April 2011)

ABSTRACT: Carrier screening is a term used to describe genetic testing that is performed on an individual who does not have any overt phenotype for a genetic disorder but may have one variant allele within a gene(s) associated with a diagnosis. Information about carrier screening should be provided to every pregnant woman. Carrier screening and counseling ideally should be performed before pregnancy because this enables couples to learn about their reproductive risk and consider the most complete range of reproductive options. A patient may decline any or all screening. When an individual is ...


Committee Opinion Number 690, March 2017

ABSTRACT: Carrier screening, whether targeted or expanded, allows individuals to consider their range of reproductive options. Ultimately, the goal of genetic screening is to provide individuals with meaningful information that they can use to guide pregnancy planning based on their personal values. Ethnic-specific, panethnic, and expanded carrier screening are acceptable strategies for prepregnancy and prenatal carrier screening. Because all of these are acceptable strategies, each obstetrician–gynecologist or other health care provider or practice should establish a standard approach that i...


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 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 687, February 2017

ABSTRACT: Obstetrician–gynecologists, in collaboration with midwives, nurses, patients, and those who support them in labor, can help women meet their goals for labor and birth by using techniques that are associated with minimal interventions and high rates of patient satisfaction. Many common obstetric practices are of limited or uncertain benefit for low-risk women in spontaneous labor. For women who are in latent labor and are not admitted, a process of shared decision making is recommended. Admission during the latent phase of labor may be necessary for a variety of reasons. A pregnant w...


Committee Opinion Number 684, January 2017

(Replaces Committee Opinion Number 543, December 2012)

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 682, December 2016

(Replaces Committee Opinion Number 581, December 2013)

ABSTRACT: Genetic technology has advanced dramatically in the past few decades, and its applications and use in caring for and counseling pregnant women has been transformational in the realm of prenatal diagnosis. Two of the newer genetic technologies in the prenatal setting are chromosomal microarray and whole-exome sequencing. Chromosomal microarray analysis is a method of measuring gains and losses of DNA throughout the human genome. It can identify chromosomal aneuploidy and other large changes in the structure of chromosomes as well as submicroscopic abnormalities that are too small to ...


Committee Opinion Number 681, December 2016

(Replaces Committee Opinion No. 520, March 2012)

ABSTRACT: Adverse outcomes, preventable or otherwise, are a reality of medical care. Most importantly, adverse events affect patients, but they also affect health care practitioners. Disclosing information about adverse events has benefits for the patient and the physician and, ideally, strengthens the patient–physician relationship and promotes trust. Studies show that after an adverse outcome, patients expect and want timely and full disclosure of the event, an acknowledgment of responsibility, an understanding of what happened, expressions of sympathy, and a discussion of what is being don...


Committee Opinion Number 680, November 2016

ABSTRACT: Checklists are used in medical and nonmedical settings as cognitive aids to ensure that users complete all the items associated with a particular task. They are ideal for tasks with many steps, for tasks performed under stressful circumstances, or for reminding people to perform tasks that they are not routinely accustomed to doing. In medicine, they are ideal for promoting standardized processes of care in situations in which variation in practice may increase patient risk and the chance of medical errors. Checklists also can be used to enhance teamwork and communication. It is a g...


Committee Opinion Number 679, November 2016

(Replaces Committee Opinion Number 594, April 2014)

ABSTRACT: Immersion in water during labor or delivery has been popularized over the past several decades. The prevalence of this practice in the United States is uncertain because it has not been studied in births outside of the home and birth centers, and the data are not recorded on birth certificates. Among randomized controlled trials included in a 2009 Cochrane systematic review that addressed immersion in the first stage of labor, results were inconsistent with regard to maternal benefits. Neither the Cochrane systematic review nor any individual trials included in that review reported ...


Committee Opinion Number 670, August 2016

ABSTRACT: Immediate postpartum long-acting reversible contraception (LARC) has the potential to reduce unintended and short-interval pregnancy. Women should be counseled about all forms of postpartum contraception in a context that allows informed decision making. Immediate postpartum LARC should be offered as an effective option for postpartum contraception; there are few contraindications to postpartum intrauterine devices and implants. Obstetrician–gynecologists and other obstetric care providers should discuss LARC during the antepartum period and counsel all pregnant women about options ...


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 666, June 2016

ABSTRACT: In the weeks after birth, postpartum care often is fragmented among maternal and pediatric health care providers, and communication between inpatient and outpatient settings is inconsistent. To optimize postpartum care, anticipatory guidance should begin during pregnancy. During antenatal care, it is recommended that the patient and her obstetrician–gynecologist or other obstetric care provider formulate a postpartum care plan and identify the health care professionals who will comprise the postpartum care team for the woman and her infant. Ideally, during the postpartum period, a s...


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 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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