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05.05.2016 | News and Views | Ausgabe 1/2016

Archives of Gynecology and Obstetrics 1/2016

Pragmatic prevention of preterm birth and evidence based medicine

Zeitschrift:
Archives of Gynecology and Obstetrics > Ausgabe 1/2016
Autor:
Udo B. Hoyme

Abstract

Effective prevention of preterm birth is one of the unsolved problems in modern medicine. In the Thuringia campaign 2000 based on a simple screening with intravaginal pH self-measurements, adequate medical diagnosis and immediate antimicrobial therapy of genital infection, the rate of newborns <1000 g was reduced to 0.38 %, the lowest incidence ever seen in any of the German states. Therefore, the regime should be implicated as a necessary step of optimizing and rationalizing the health care system. However, in the discussion we had to learn that the best way to inhibit progress is to cope with problems by preferring the most complicated policies under persistent renunciation of simple solutions. As long as we do not have other alternative safe, simple and cheap methods, do we really have to wait even more decades to come for a prospectively randomized double-blinded almost impracticable study to convince the latest skeptical scientist that we have plenty of evidence-based means to reduce the incidence of premature birth, now, by decreasing infectious morbidity in pregnancy and by the same action childbed fever as well? Insisting scholastically on nothing but the 100 % pure evidence sometimes can hamper innovations and potential benefit. Would a similar caution ever had allowed us for instance to introduce handwashing according to Semmelweis? Good news, the Government of the State of Thuringia has decided this year to reestablish a pH selfcare screening programme.

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