ACOG Updates Ob/gyn Guidelines

The American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) has updated its guidelines for various female screenings and is asking the federal government to back them up.

Cystic Fibrosis Screening

ACOG recommends preconception and prenatal cystic fibrosis (CF) carrier screening as a routine part of obstetric care. “Because CF is caused by an inherited genetic mutation, carrier screening is recommended to identify couples at risk for having a child with the disease,” ACOG says in a March 21 press release.
Women who are CF carriers and their reproductive partners may need additional screening tests and referrals for genetic and reproductive counseling, ACOG advises.
“Update on Carrier Screening for Cystic Fibrosis” is published in the April 2011 issue of Obstetrics & Gynecology.

Routine Screenings

ACOG also announced, March 21, that it has updated the schedule for recommended routine screening, lab tests, and immunizations for non-pregnant teens and women. The revised schedule covers the basic components of the annual ob/gyn exam, including assessing current health status, nutrition, physical activity, sexual practices, and tobacco, alcohol, and drug use.
“The College [ACOG] urges the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services to include these screenings, tests, and immunizations included in our well-woman exam recommendations under the preventive services that it is considering for inclusion under the new health care law,” said Hal C. Lawrence, III, MD, vice-president for Practice Activities at ACOG.
ACOG reiterates its 2010 recommendations for annual breast, abdominal, and pelvic exams in the guideline and updates the schedule regarding which vaccinations are recommended, by age and risk group.
“Primary and Preventive Care: Periodic Assessments” is also published in the April 2011 issue of Obstetrics & Gynecology.

Group B Streptococcal Screening

ACOG also released, March 21, revised guidelines for the prevention and treatment of perinatal group B streptococcal (GBS) disease. “Prevention of Early Onset Group B Streptococcal Disease in Newborns,” summarizes the 2010 U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC’s) GBS guidelines, endorsed by ACOG, and highlights changes in clinical practice for ob/gyns.
“While the core recommendations are the same, the new document provides further direction for clinicians in implementing and improving prevention strategies,” said Ronald S. Gibbs, MD, a member of ACOG’s Committee on Obstetric Practice.
ACOG recommends all pregnant women be screened for GBS at 35-37 weeks’ gestation and that preventive antibiotics be given to women who test positive during labor. The document is published in the April 2011 issue of Obstetrics & Gynecology.

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