Management of premature rupture of membranes at term: the need to correct a recurring mistake in articles, chapters, and recommendations of professional organizations
Recommendations about the management of premature rupture of membranes at term are based, in part, on a large, randomized controlled trial published in 1996: the TERMPROM trial. The original article contained an error in Table 1, in which “Interval from membrane rupture to delivery” was listed instead of “Interval from membrane rupture to study entry.” While the authors and journal corrected this error, the mistake published in the original paper has made its way into subsequent publications and even in guidelines or practice bulletins issued by professional organizations, textbooks, and other publications around the world. The mistake, that half of women with premature rupture of membranes at term who were managed expectantly delivered within 5 hours and 95% delivered within 28 hours of membrane rupture, should be replaced with the actual fact that half of women with premature rupture of membranes at term who were managed expectantly delivered within 33 hours, and 95% delivered within 94–107 hours of membrane rupture. Correcting this error in contemporary health care information and publications is important to counsel patients accurately and to optimize the clinical care of women with premature rupture of membranes at term.
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