August 9th, 2022

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Title:
Discontinuation of Tocolytics for Preterm Labor in an Academic Safety Net Hospital: Impact on the Duration of Betamethasone Exposure
Authors:  Meredith J. Alston, M.D., Kara Alexandrovic, M.D., Norma Stiglich, M.D., and Torri D. Metz, M.D., M.S.
  OBJECTIVE: To evaluate the impact of discontinuation of tocolytics on the completion of the corticosteroid course among preterm neonates in an academic safety net hospital.

STUDY DESIGN: Retrospective cohort study of all singleton pregnancies with preterm labor resulting in delivery between 24 and 34 weeks’ gestation at Denver Health Medical Center (DHMC) between 1/1/2004 and 5/31/2009. In January 2007 DHMC discontinued the use of tocolytic therapy for preterm labor. Study subjects were grouped based on whether their delivery occurred before or after the change in policy. Multivariable logistic regression was used to determine whether the use of tocolysis increased the odds of completion of the betamethasone while adjusting for cervical examination at admission.

RESULTS: Of 169 infant/mother pairs who met inclusion criteria, 102 delivered prior to the discontinuation of tocolytics and 67 delivered after the discontinuation of tocolytics. Treatment with tocolysis increased the odds of completing the 48-hour betamethasone window (OR 2.59, 95% CI 1.16–5.79). Each centimeter increase in cervical dilation at the time of admission decreased the odds of completing the betamethasone window (OR 0.50, 95% CI 0.39–0.62).

CONCLUSION: The use of tocolytics increased the odds of completion of the betamethasone window in an academic safety net hospital among neonates born between 24 and 34 weeks’ gestation.
Keywords:  betamethasone, corticosteroid administration, corticosteroids, premature birth, preterm birth, preterm labor, tocolytics.
   
   
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