Consequences of nonintervention in the management of prematurely ruptured membranes prior to term were assessed in 143 maternal charts and 145 corresponding infant records during a 2-year period. Patients were hospitalized at bed rest and were not given tocolytics or steroids. Antibiotics were used only when clinical examination indicated infection. Labor was induced in 13 patients. Time in utero was extended 1 week or more in 19% of cases. Maternal infection was identified in 15 wonien, all of whom recovered. There were 18 neonatal deaths and 4 stillbirths in the series. Three deaths might have been prevented by earlier delivery. Nonintervention in the management of premature rupture of the membranes did not have adverse effects on the incidence of maternal or neonatal infection but was relatively ineffectual in achieving significant extensions of time in utero.
© 1982 The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists