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Br Med J. 1975 Jun 7;2(5970):545-7.

Identification of high risk labours by labour nomogram.


The labour stencil representing the expected cervimetric progress of normal labour was used in 741 consecutive spontaneous labours to identify high-risk labours which needed oxytocic stimulation. Uterine contractions were stimulated if progress extended two hours past the nomogram, which resulted in shorter labours, fewer instrumental deliveries and caesarean sections, and babies with higher Apgar scores than in those dysfunctional labours which were not stimulated. According to the protocol used 36% of primigravid and 13% of multigravid labours needed acceleration. The remaining patients did not need any oxytocic interference during the first stage. This selection of patients is important to prevent a major obstetric advance being abused and discredited at a time when the profession and public are questioning the safety of active labour.

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