Management of preterm labour Safety of hormone treatment unproved

BMJ 1994; 308 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.308.6930.721a (Published 12 March 1994) Cite this as: BMJ 1994;308:721

EDITOR, - Gerald J Clesham reports a case in which antenatal corticosteroids and thyrotrophin releasing hormone were used in an attempt to accelerate fetal lung maturity in a twin pregnancy with imminent preterm delivery.1 Randomised controlled trials have shown that corticosteroids given to mothers before preterm delivery can reduce the odds of neonatal death by about 40% and of periventricular haemorrhage and the respiratory distress syndrome by half, with no known side effects.2 Analysis of the trials should be based on “intention to treat.” This is especially important in preterm labour as our experience shows that as many as half of pregnancies judged to be at sufficient risk of preterm delivery to warrant a course of corticosteroids will continue for at least 10 days after …

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