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Chronic respiratory morbidity after prolonged and premature rupture of the membranes.
  1. P J Thompson,
  2. A Greenough,
  3. K Nicolaides
  1. King's College Hospital, London, Department, Child Health.


    Twenty one surviving infants of pregnancies complicated by rupture of the membranes during the second trimester that lasted at least one week have been followed up for a median of 15 months. Five infants (24%) had recurrent respiratory problems (episodes of wheezing and coughing occurring at least once a week) which related significantly to the use of neonatal ventilation and to very preterm delivery. Five of the 18 infants who were born preterm and with birth weights of less than 2500 g had recurrent respiratory symptoms (28%). This compares favourably with an incidence of symptoms of 67% among surviving low birthweight infants born at this hospital after pregnancies not complicated by premature rupture of the membranes. Neither recurrent respiratory symptoms nor admission to hospital for chest related disorders were associated with the timing of onset or duration of rupture of the membranes. We conclude that, among survivors of premature rupture of the membranes, chronic respiratory morbidity would best be prevented by avoiding very preterm delivery, regardless of the duration of the rupture.

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