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Fetal Fibronectin: What Does It Mean?

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LIKE MANY STAFF NURSES AND neonatal nurse practitioners (NNPs), I work at two different hospitals as part of my full-time job and at a third hospital in a PRN position. Working at several different institutions affords the opportunity for multiple and varied learning experiences. One of the hospitals is a busy center for high-risk labor and delivery. As part of the NNP duties there, I attend board report three times per day. This entails a detailed discussion of all women in labor and delivery, primarily focusing on the high-risk patients. Fetal fibronectin (fFN) is a common topic of discussion during board report. I thought that fFN helped the perinatologist determine whether or not the woman was in labor and in imminent danger of delivery, but that was all I knew. Like other authors of articles in this column, I used my knowledge deficit as the impetus to research this topic. Therefore, this column briefly discusses the burden of preterm delivery and the methods used to identify women at risk for preterm birth. It focuses specifically on fFN: what it is, how it is measured, what the test means, and the predictive value of the test.

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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: November 1, 2010

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