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Arresting premature labour: orciprenaline and other drugs


Prematurity accounts for 25 – 45% of perinatal mortality. Prevention or arrest of premature labour could reduce this loss, though with severe hypertension, antepartum haemorrhage, placental insufficiency or congenital abnormality of the fetus spontaneous premature labour is often allowed to take its course. After 37 weeks maturity, if the membranes are ruptured, there is little point in attempting to stop labour. It has been contended that with ruptured membranes as early as 34 weeks, the baby is better off delivered rather than left at risk of intrauterine infection.1

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