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ABSTRACT

A triage system for antepartum surveillance of postdates pregnancy is studied in a busy, indigent care service with limited resources for in-hospital delivery. One hundred seventy-eight pregnancies (13.2% of the total population) were thought to be at least 42 weeks' gestation by clinical criteria, and 128 of these underwent at least one complete biophysical profile within seven days of delivery. We find no statistically significant difference in the incidence of meconium staining, fetal distress in labor, or low Apgar scores when either the high or low scoring groups are compared, or when compared with the 50 patients who delivered without a biophysical evaluation. Specific components of the testing schema, however, namely oligohydramnios and spontaneous decelerations on the nonstress test, are highly associated with adverse perinatal events. Of the total population thought to be postmature clinically, only 60 infants (33.9%) were actually beyond 42 weeks' gestation by Dubowitz scoring. We conclude that a modified biophysical assessment as described is easily performed in a nontertiary care setting where a CNM-MD team approach is applied and may help to differentiate patients who require expeditious termination of pregnancy in-hospital from those who can be managed expectantly in the birthing center.