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Effects of multiple courses of antenatal steroids are uncertain

BMJ 2000; 321 doi: (Published 01 July 2000) Cite this as: BMJ 2000;321:47
  1. Peter Brocklehurst, consultant epidemiologist,
  2. Simon Gates, trials researcher (,
  3. Ann Johnson, developmental paediatrician,
  4. Zarko Alfirevic, senior lecturer in obstetrics and gynaecology,
  5. Geoffrey Chamberlain, emeritus professor in obstetrics and gynaecology
  1. National Perinatal Epidemiology Unit, Institute of Health Sciences, Oxford OX3 7LF
  2. Liverpool Women's Hospital, Liverpool L8 7SS
  3. Singleton Hospital, Sketty, Swansea SA2 8QA

    EDITOR—Spencer and Neales highlight the uncertainty surrounding the risks and benefits of giving multiple courses of antenatal steroids to pregnant women at risk of preterm delivery.1 They refer to our survey of practice carried out in 1997,2 and it would be helpful to clarify some of the figures that they quote.

    Firstly, the survey did not find that 98% of women at risk of preterm birth receive prophylactic antenatal corticosteroids; rather, it found that 98% of obstetric units …

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