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Am J Obstet Gynecol. 1992 Mar;166(3):847-50.

Does oxytocin augmentation increase perinatal risk in primigravid labor?

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  • 1Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, University College Dublin, National Maternity Hospital, Ireland.


To assess the influence of high-dose oxytocin augmentation of spontaneous labor, a consecutive series of 30,874 primigravid term deliveries were analyzed for adverse perinatal outcome. In spite of a longer mean duration of labor, the frequencies of asphyxial perinatal death, neonatal seizures, and abnormal neonatal neurologic behavior were not significantly increased in 14,119 (45%) oxytocin-treated patients. There was no case of uterine rupture in any primigravid labor during the study. These results from 13 years of clinical practice provide reassurance about maternal and fetal safety if oxytocin is used as part of a protocol of active management to correct dystocia when spontaneous primigravid labor with vertex presentation fails to progress.

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