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The Tidelands Health Newsroom

Published on October 04, 2005

Georgetown Hospital System Offers New Preterm Labor Test

Tuesday, October 04, 2005

Georgetown, SC – Fetal fibronectin testing, which is used to assess risk of preterm labor and delivery in high-risk pregnancies, is now being offered through Georgetown Hospital System, which includes Georgetown Memorial Hospital in Georgetown and Waccamaw Community Hospital in Murrells Inlet.

“This test will help the obstetricians assess women who are at high-risk for preterm delivery, ” says Dr. Kent McGinley, Medical Director of Georgetown Memorial Hospital Laboratory. “By catching pre-term labor early on, the obstetricians will be able to intervene or possibly prolong the pregnancy to allow more time for the fetus to develop, therefore reducing the mortality and morbidity rate.”

The presence of fetal fibronectin membrane protein during weeks 22 through 35 of gestation is a very reliable test to determine increased risk for pre-term delivery. Fetal fibronectin is normally produced during the first trimester of pregnancy and functions as an adhesion binder of the placenta to the uterine lining.

A positive fetal fibronectin test result allows intervention for pregnant women with the highest risk of delivery within the following two weeks. Negative test results offer reassurance to the physician and expectant parents of low risk preterm delivery.

According to the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG), preterm birth is the second leading cause of neonatal mortality in the United States, second only to birth defects; and preterm labor is the cause of most preterm births. For more information on Fetal fibronectin testing, contact Georgetown Memorial Hospital Laboratory at 527-7174.


Tidelands Health is the region’s largest health care provider and MUSC Health affiliate, serving the Carolinas at four hospitals and more than 60 outpatient locations. More than 2,500 employee, physician and volunteer partners work side by side with our communities to transform the health of our region – promoting wellness, preventing illness, encouraging recovery and restoring health.