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Midwifery. 2006 Sep;22(3):207-17. Epub 2005 Dec 20.

Intrapartal care documented in a Swedish maternity unit and considered in relation to World Health Organization recommendations for care in normal birth.

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1
Division for Health and Caring Sciences, Karlstad University, Karlstad, Sweden. Fia.Bojo@kau.se

Abstract

OBJECTIVES:

To describe documented intrapartal care in relation to the World Health Organization (WHO) recommendations for care in normal birth, and to compare intrapartal care for pregnant women at low and high risk in a conventional maternity unit.

DESIGN:

Retrospective examination of 212 consecutive childbirth records using an audit instrument developed from WHO's recommendations.

SETTING:

A conventional maternity unit in Western Sweden.

FINDINGS:

Practices that are demonstrably useful and should be encouraged were mostly documented, except for physical assessments, such as pulse and temperature and emotional aspects. Vaginal examinations were carried out more often than recommended, and fetal heart rates were seldom monitored intermittently. Practices classified as harmful, practices with insufficient evidence and practices frequently used inappropriately, were used to a large extent. There were high rates of interventions regardless of the women's risk level. The interventions were carried out without a rational documented indication. According to the documentation, only two-thirds of the women were in active labour on admission to the labour ward.

CONCLUSION AND IMPLICATIONS FOR PRACTICE:

The recommendations from WHO were only partly adhered to. The instrument is considered useful for systematic audit of documented intrapartal care, and may help to identify areas in need of improvement. Improvements suggested by this study were as follows: inclusion of emotional aspects in the documentation, differentiation in cardiotocographic (CTG) surveillance for women at low and high risk, documentation of explicit indications for interventions and guidelines for admission to the maternity unit.

PMID:
16368171
DOI:
10.1016/j.midw.2005.05.006
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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