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Obstet Gynecol. 1994 Jul;84(1):47-51.

Short labor: characteristics and outcome.

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Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Albert Einstein College of Medicine, Bronx, New York.



To determine the characteristics and consequences of short labor.


Ninety-nine term pregnancies with singleton vertex presentation and labor lasting 3 hours or less were compared with controls with longer labor, matched to the index cases by maternal age, parity, and birth weight.


Short labor occurred mostly in multiparas. Both the first and second stages of labor were found to be shortened in these cases. There was significantly more placental abruption, uterine tachysystole, and maternal cocaine use among short-labor cases. Major perineal lacerations, postpartum hemorrhage, birth trauma, and low Apgar scores were distributed approximately equally between cases and controls. A preponderance of the bad outcomes in the short labors occurred in the subgroup of those with rates of dilatation and descent that exceeded established 95th percentile limits.


Labors of 3 hours or less in duration were strongly associated with placental abruption, but were otherwise not major contributors to maternal and fetal morbidity.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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