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A positive approach to help manage the risk of preterm birth

No one can predict exactly when a woman will go into labour. A due date is just an estimate – so many different factors can affect how and when labour starts, how it progresses and what happens when a baby is born.

But when a woman presents with the signs and symptoms of labour too early – before 37 weeks gestation – being able to confirm the risk of preterm birth will help you determine the care and treatment she needs, when and where it is provided, and the risks for her and her baby.

The priority, of course, is the safety of mother and baby. Preterm birth is the leading cause of perinatal morbidity and mortality in developed countries [1], so at risk women need careful monitoring and specialised care.

While it’s not a crystal ball, the new PartoSure Time to Delivery test can tell you if delivery is imminent. Unlike its competitors, PartoSure provides a very high positive predictive value (PPV) that enables clinicians to more confidently assess the risk of delivery within seven days (78.3% confident) or 14 days (87%).[2]

It also provides an excellent negative predictive value (NPV) but it’s the PPV that will change the way you manage women at risk of preterm birth.

An NPV will tell you how likely it is that a woman won’t go into labour but, given the risks associated with preterm birth, most clinicians would still err on the side of caution and advise admission to hospital. For women in regional or rural areas, this would probably involve a transfer, away from the support of their family and friends, to a metropolitan hospital with a neonatal intensive care unit (NICU).

A high PPV, on the other hand, gives you the opportunity to intervene where necessary – for example, to mature a baby’s lungs before birth – while reducing the need for unnecessary hospital admissions. And, crucially, it gives at risk women time to prepare for a pre-term birth with appropriate follow up care and support.

PartoSure is the only Time to Delivery test to provide consistently high PPV and NPV results for women between 20 to 37 weeks gestation who have signs, symptoms or complaints suggestive of preterm labour and clinically intact membranes. It is a rapid bedside test that can be performed by doctors, nurses and midwives, with or without speculum examination, giving results in minutes.

[1] Goldenberg RL, Culhane JR, Iams JD, Romero R. Epidemiology and causes of preterm birth. Lancet 2008 Jan 371: 75 - 84.

[2] Nikolova T, Bayev O, Nikolova N, Di Renzo GC. Evaluation of a novel placental alpha microglobulin-1 (PAMG-1) test to predict spontaneous preterm delivery. J Perinat Med 2014 Jul 42: 473 - 477.

Please don’t hesitate to contact us with your questions.

Visit the PartoSure website.