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News1998March › A nurse a day doesn't keep doc at bay › March 1998

A nurse a day doesn't keep doc at bay

The frequency of visits by a nurse to a woman with a high risk pregnancy has no effect on the outcome of the birth

The frequency of visits by a nurse to a woman with a high risk pregnancy has no effect on the outcome of the birth.

In a study of 2,422 pregnant Californian women, weekly or daily visits by a nurse made no difference in terms of preterm birth, birth weight, neonatal care or length of hospital stay.

All the women had known risk factors for preterm labour, including 844 women who were pregnant with twins. One group had weekly contact with a nurse, another had daily contact and a third group had a nurse and home monitoring of uterine activity.

In the study, there was practically no difference in the incidence of prematurity at less than 35 weeks (14 per cent in both the weekly contact and the home monitoring groups and 13 per cent in the daily group).

All that daily contact with a nurse seemed to do was to increase the number of unscheduled visits to obstetricians (New Eng J Med, 1998; 338: 15-19).


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