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Am J Obstet Gynecol. 2004 Sep;191(3):891-5.

The continuing effectiveness of active management of first labor, despite a doubling in overall nulliparous cesarean delivery.

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  • 1Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, University College Dublin, Ireland. mfoley@nmh.ie

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

The purpose of this study was to determine the continuing effectiveness of active management of labor, a protocol that involves early detection and correction of dystocia with oxytocin in spontaneous cephalic nulliparous labor, by analysis of the contribution of this cohort to a doubled overall nulliparous cesarean delivery rate.

STUDY DESIGN:

This was a retrospective analysis of annually collated institutional data on cesarean delivery and perinatal outcome.

RESULTS:

From 1989 to 2000, 81,855 women were delivered at the National Maternity Hospital, of whom 34,201 women (42%) were nulliparous; the annual proportion of nulliparous women in spontaneous labor decreased progressively from 83% to 60%; the overall nulliparous cesarean rate increased from 8.1% to 16.6%. Cesarean birth rate among nulliparous women in spontaneous labor, although showing a significant upward trend between 1989 and 2000 (2.4%-4.8%; P = .001), was stable, averaging 5% for the last 8 years (P = .705); the peripartum death rate in this group fell significantly (P = .024). Comparing results for 1989 with results for 2000, nulliparous women in spontaneous labor accounted for 14% of the overall increase in cesarean deliveries (dystocia, 5%), compared with 51% for nulliparous women with induced labor. The perinatal mortality rate in term infants was unchanged.

CONCLUSION:

Active management of spontaneous first labors remains an effective protocol for the promotion of vaginal delivery with low peripartum mortality rates; factors other than dystocia in spontaneous labor account for the progressive increase in the nulliparous cesarean delivery rate.

PMID:
15467560
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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