A patient at 34 weeks gestation calls the hospital with concerns of leaking vaginal fluid. The nurse should


• This woman needs to be assessed for premature rupture of membranes (PROM).

• If a preterm woman experiences premature rupture of membranes, the fetus is in serious danger. After rupture, the seal to the fetus is lost and uterine and fetal infection may occur, as well as increased stress to the fetus due to changes in pressure from decreased amniotic fluid. It is necessary to report to the hospital immediately for prophylactic administration of broad-spectrum antibiotics.

• Prophylactic administration of broad-spectrum antibiotics may reduce the risk of infection in the newborn. Labor may be induced.

• After being assessed by the doctor, the woman may be placed on home bed rest if labor does not begin and if the fetus is too young to survive outside the uterus.

• Incorrect: Advising her to have a prenatal checkup or telling her to report to the hospital once her uterine contractions are 5 minutes apart will pose a major threat to the fetus. Delaying immediate care may put the fetus at risk for infection.

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