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Society for Maternal-Fetal Medicine (SMFM) Consult Series #44: Management of bleeding in the late preterm period

Published:October 25, 2017DOI:https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ajog.2017.10.019
      Third-trimester bleeding is a common complication arising from a variety of etiologies, some of which may initially present in the late preterm period. Previous management recommendations have not been specific to this gestational age window, which carries a potentially lower threshold for delivery. The purpose of this document is to provide guidance on management of late preterm (34 0/7–36 6/7 weeks of gestation) vaginal bleeding. The following are Society for Maternal-Fetal Medicine recommendations: (1) we recommend delivery at 36–37 6/7 weeks of gestation for stable women with placenta previa without bleeding or other obstetric complications (GRADE 1B); (2) we do not recommend routine cervical length screening for women with placenta previa in the late preterm period due to a lack of data on an appropriate management strategy (GRADE 2C); (3) we recommend delivery between 34 and 37 weeks of gestation for stable women with placenta accreta (GRADE 1B); (4) we recommend delivery between 34 and 37 weeks of gestation for stable women with vasa previa (GRADE 1B); (5) we recommend that in women with active hemorrhage in the late preterm period, delivery should not be delayed for the purpose of administering antenatal corticosteroids (GRADE 1B); (6) we recommend that fetal lung maturity testing should not be used to guide management in the late preterm period when an indication for delivery is present (GRADE 1B); and (7) we recommend that antenatal corticosteroids should be administered to women who are eligible and are managed expectantly if delivery is likely within 7 days, the gestational age is between 34 0/7 and 36 6/7 weeks of gestation, and antenatal corticosteroids have not previously been administered (GRADE 1A).

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