New test option at SRMC to diagnose preterm labor



Sampson Regional Medical Center now offers a definitive test option for obstetrics patients who arrive to the OB unit with possible preterm labor due to membrane rupture. AmniSure, a lab test that is used to detect a rupture of the amniotic sac, can now be used on patients who present with the complaint of their “water breaking.”

Patients who present with their amniotic fluid leaking prior to 37 weeks gestation are diagnosed with PPROM, or preterm premature rupture of membranes. This complication can happen in up to 12 percent of all pregnancies and can pose a high risk of infection. The most common sign to watch for with PPROM is fluid leaking. The leaking may be slow or it may be fast, releasing all at once. This suggests prompt reasoning to seek out medical attention.

When a patient arrives in the OB unit with possible PPROM, particular tests are ordered by their physician to determine whether the patient has in fact ruptured. SRMC has always run two tests — nitrazine and fern — but now a physician can order the AmniSure test if the others come back inconclusive. The Amnisure test will be collected by the nurse in the OB unit and processed on-site in SRMC’s lab. This test is safe for the patient and the baby and will ensure that the baby gets the care they will need prior to delivery and during delivery.

“Safety of our patients is our number one concern,” stated Ann Cortes, director of the lab. “We want to continue to improve our clinical outcomes through increased safety and quality processes.”

If you have any questions about preterm labor, please speak to your primary care provider. If you are in need of a primary care provider please call 910-592-8511 or visit