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- Case study 1: preterm prelabour rupture of the membranes in early gestation (<24 weeks)
- Case 2: PPROM in early gestation (≥24 weeks)
Preterm prelabour rupture of the membranes (PPROM) is defined as prelabour rupture of the membranes prior to 37 weeks of gestation. It occurs in approximately 3% of pregnancies and is responsible for one-third of all preterm births. Effective treatment relies on accurate diagnosis, and it is gestational age dependent because the potential complications change with gestational age. Diagnosis itself is made by clinical suspicion, patient history and simple testing. Studies have shown that if a combination of patient history, nitrazine testing and ferning was used, the accuracy of at least two positive tests was 93.1%. PPROM is associated with significant maternal and neonatal morbidity and mortality from infection, umbilical cord compression, placental abruption and preterm birth. Subclinical uterine infection has been implicated as a major aetiological factor in the pathogenesis and subsequent morbidity associated with PPROM and antenatal antibiotics, together with corticosteroid therapies, have clear benefits and should be offered to all women without contraindications. Women with PPROM after 32 weeks should be considered for delivery, and after 34 weeks of gestation the benefits of elective delivery appear to outweigh the risks. Here, two cases are discussed that were experienced in our unit.