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Br J Obstet Gynaecol. 1997 Jul;104(7):781-6.

Routine oxytocin in the third stage of labour: a placebo controlled randomised trial.

Author information

1
Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, County Hospital, Ostersund, Sweden.

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

To compare intravenous oxytocin administration (Partocon 10 IU) with saline solution in the management of postpartum haemorrhage in the third stage of labour.

DESIGN:

A double-blind, randomised controlled trial involving 1000 parturients with singleton fetuses in cephalic presentation and undergoing vaginal delivery, randomly allocated to treatment with oxytocin (n = 513) or 0.9% saline solution (n = 487).

SETTING:

Labour ward at a central county hospital.

MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES:

Mean blood loss (total, and before and after placenta delivery); frequencies of blood loss > 800 mL, need of additional oxytocic treatment, postpartum haemoglobin < 10 g/dL; and duration of postpartum hospitalisation.

RESULTS:

As compared with saline solution, oxytocin administration was associated with significant reduction in mean total blood loss (407 versus 527 mL), and in frequencies of postpartum haemorrhage > 800 mL (8.8% versus 5.2%), additional treatment with metylergometrine (7.8% versus 13.8%), and postpartum Hb < 10 g/dL (9.7% versus 15.2%), and a nonsignificant increase in the frequency of manual placenta removal (3.5% versus 2.3%). There was no group difference in the mean duration of postpartum hospitalisation (4.6 versus 4.5 days, respectively).

CONCLUSIONS:

Administration of intravenous oxytocin in the third stage of labour is associated with an approximately 22% reduction in mean blood loss, and approximately 40% reductions in frequencies of postpartum haemorrhage (> 500 mL or > 800 mL) and of postpartum haemoglobin < 10 g/dL. Identification of risk groups for oxytocin treatment does not seem worthwhile. Oxytocin is a cheap atoxic drug and should be given routinely after vaginal delivery.

PMID:
9236641
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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