The Canadian Perinatal Network: A National Network Focused on Threatened Preterm Birth at 22 to 28 Weeks' Gestation
Journal of Obstetrics and Gynaecology Canada
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Objective: The Canadian Perinatal Network (CPN) maintains an ongoing national database focused on threatened very preterm birth. The objective of the network is to facilitate between-hospital comparisons and other research that will lead to reductions in the burden of illness associated with very preterm birth. Methods: Women were included in the database if they were admitted to a participating tertiary perinatal unit at 22+0 to 28+6 weeks' gestation with one or more conditions most commonly responsible for very preterm birth, including spontaneous preterm labour with contractions, incompetent cervix, prolapsing membranes, preterm prelabour rupture of membranes, gestational hypertension, intrauterine growth restriction, or antepartum hemorrhage. Data were collected by review of maternal and infant charts, entered directly into standardized electronic data forms and uploaded to the CPN via a secure network. Results: Between 2005 and 2009, the CPN enrolled 2524 women from 14 hospitals including those with preterm labour and contractions (27.4%), short cervix without contractions (16.3%), prolapsing membranes (9.4%), antepartum hemorrhage (26.0%), and preterm prelabour rupture of membranes (23 0%) The mean gestational age at enrolment was 25.9 ± 1.9 weeks and the mean gestation age at delivery was 29.9 ± 5.1 weeks; 57.0% delivered at < 29 weeks and 75.4% at < 34 weeks. Complication rates were high and included serious maternal complications (26 7%), stillbirth (8.2%), neonatal death (16.3%), neonatal intensive care unit admission (60 7%), and serious neonatal morbidity (35 0%). Conclusion: This national dataset contains detailed information about women at risk of very preterm birth. It is available to clinicians and researchers who are working with one or more CPN collaborators and who are interested in studies relating processes of care to maternal or perinatal outcomes.