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Premature rupture of the membranes is a scary event

Even though many pregnant women are ready to meet that little bundle of joy from the second the pregnancy is discovered, these women still want to have a full term baby. A normal pregnancy lasts 40 weeks, but a woman is considered full term when she is 37 weeks pregnant.

There is a chance that something will happen and the woman will have complications before she is full term. In those cases, the baby will be born prematurely. This can lead to a host of issues for the baby. Preterm premature rupture of the membranes, PPROM, is one of the issues that can lead to a premature birth.

What is PPROM?

The baby is encased in an amniotic membrane, or sac, during the pregnancy. This holds the amniotic fluid around the baby and it helps to prevent infections. In a full term delivery, the baby is usually born within a day of this happening. When a woman's amniotic sac ruptures too early, doctors will try to prevent labor and provide medical care to prevent infection.

What are the risks of PPROM?

When this membrane breaks, which is often called "water breaking," there is a risk that there will be an infection. It is also likely that the baby will be born prematurely. It can also mean that you will be on bed rest in the hospital in an effort to reduce the risk of infection and stave off premature delivery of the baby.

What are the signs of PPROM?

A sudden gush or a leak of fluid from the vagina is a primary sign of PPROM. You might also notice that your underwear is wet or damp. All of these are clear signs that you need to contact your medical care team so they can determine if your water did break and create a treatment plan from there.

How is PPROM treated?

Whether you end up in the hospital on bed rest depends on several factors. Sometimes, a woman who hasn't reached the point in her pregnancy where the baby can survive might not be admitted to the hospital.

You might have to take antibiotics to treat an infection or to stave off one. You might be given medicines to stop you from going into labor and you may get corticosteriods to help the baby's lungs mature.

Proper treatment of PPROM is vital for the woman's survival and to increase the likelihood that the baby will be able to survive. When this treatment doesn't happen, the results might be devastating. Care that doesn't meet established standards may lead to a medical malpractice claim.

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