Tip 17: antenatal steroids

Antenatal steroids are recommended for:

  • women at risk of preterm labour between 24+0 and 34+6 weeks’ gestation;
  • women for whom an elective Caesarean section is planned ≤38+6 weeks’ gestation.

Treatment with antenatal corticosteroids is associated with an overall reduction in   neonatal death (RR 0.69), RDS (RR 0.66), IVH (RR 0.54),  NEC (RR 0.46),  intensive care admissions (RR 0.80) and systemic infections in the first 48 hours of life (RR 0.56).

References:

Roberts D, Dalziel SR. Antenatal corticosteroids for accelerating fetal lung maturation for women at risk of preterm birth. Cochrane Database Syst Rev 2006; 3: CD004454. 

Royal College of Obstetrics and Gynaecology (2010). Antenatal corticosteroids to reduce neonatal morbidity and mortality. Green top guideline no. 7. RCOG: London.

First published: 21/10/13, updated 26/06/15

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