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Introducing fetal fibronectin testing to a district general hospital in women with symptoms of preterm labour
  1. H Myint,
  2. V Singh,
  3. N J Roberts
  1. East Sussex NHS Trust, Eastbourne, UK

Abstract

Aims To evaluate the use of fetal fibronectin (fFN) testing within a District General Hospital and to review the fFN predictive values in women presenting with symptoms of preterm labour.

Methods Retrospective case note review of all women having a fFN test at East Sussex NHS Trust from April 2009 to April 2010 (n=123). Data collected included risk factors for preterm labour, signs and symptoms, antenatal management, number of fFN tests performed and gestation at delivery.

Results A total of 137 fFN tests were performed on 123 women. 8% of women (10/123) had the test performed more than once.

There were 10 women (8%) with positive results and 113 women (92%) with negative results.

One of the 10 women (10%) with a positive fFN result delivered within 10 days of the test compared with only 1.8% (2/113) of the women with a negative result.

Corticosteroids were given to 10% of women (11/1113) despite a negative fFN result.

Hospital admission was avoided in 82% of women (93/113) with a negative result.

In those women with a positive fFN, all received corticosteroids and were admitted.

Conclusions The use of fFN in a District General Hospital allows management and resources to be targeted to those women at highest risk of preterm birth. Our results show comparable positive and negative predictive values to other studies. There is a learning curve with introducing fFN and implementing changes in management.

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