Simple test 'can spot premature birth false alarms'

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A simple test can help reliably determine whether signs of an imminent premature delivery are likely to result in a false alarm ...

Less than half of women showing these signs actually go on to give birth ...

UK researchers found a test that looks for a protein called fetal fibronectin (fFN) could solve the problem.

... Women with a negative test can be reassured that they do not need inpatient care ...

... when fFN is found to be leaking at a certain stage of pregnancy, a premature birth is more likely.

A test to detect fFN levels is relatively cheap and easy to perform - but it is not commonly used in all maternity units.

... If the results show low levels of fFN, then the chance of a women having a premature delivery imminently is low.

... It proved to be 98.6% accurate in identifying women who, despite showing signs of premature delivery, did not go into labour for at least another two weeks ...

Melissa Maimann, Essential Birth Consulting 0400 418 448