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Aust N Z J Obstet Gynaecol. 2012 Apr;52(2):173-8. doi: 10.1111/j.1479-828X.2011.01403.x. Epub 2012 Mar 5.

Trends and morbidity associated with oxytocin use in labour in nulliparas at term.

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1
Royal North Shore Hospital, University of Sydney, Sydney, NSW, Australia. sarahlbuchanan@hotmail.com

Abstract

AIM:

To determine the trends in oxytocin use at a population level within New South Wales and to assess the maternal and neonatal morbidities associated with the use of oxytocin.

METHODS:

Trends in oxytocin use were assessed for women in NSW who were nulliparas at term with a singleton, cephalic fetus between 1998 and 2008. Maternal and neonatal morbidities were assessed in 2007-2008 using linked hospital and birth data with regression analysis. Oxytocin was also assessed by indication for use being either induction or augmentation of labour.

RESULTS:

The overall use of oxytocin increased from 10,291 (36.5%) of births in 1998 to 14,440 (45.4%) of births in 2008 (P < 0.0001) with the increase entirely because of the increased use for induction of labour. The use of oxytocin was associated with an increase in regional analgesia (65 to 22%), instrumental delivery (21 to 18%) and caesarean section (29 to 14%) as compared to women who did not receive oxytocin in labour. Oxytocin was also associated with an increase in severe maternal adjusted odds ratios ((aOR) 1.48, 95% CI 1.30-1.68) and neonatal morbidity (aOR 1.29, 95% CI 1.17-1.41). This increase in morbidity was maintained when both augmentation and induction were assessed separately.

CONCLUSION:

Oxytocin has an important role in the management of labour. However, its use should be carefully monitored with standardised treatment regimes to minimise maternal and neonatal morbidity.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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