Currently, more than 90% of obstetricians prescribe bed rest for antepartal women who are experiencing complications in pregnancy. Even though researchers have found that bed rest is not effective in reducing preterm births, 20 percent of pregnant women will spend at least one week during pregnancy on bed rest. Preterm premature rupture of membranes (PPROM) accounts for 33% of all preterm births and is significantly associated with maternal, fetal, and neonatal morbidity and mortality risks. Antenatal bed rest creates physical, emotional and financial costs for the patient, families, and third-party payers. National health care dollars spent in 2001 for short gestation was $1,887, 716,535. Treatment decisions are often made on an emotional basis or medical litigation issues rather than ethical outcomes surrounding the threshold of fetal/neonatal viability.



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