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Use of oxytocin is associated with uterine hyperstimulation and postpartum hemorrhage with a dose-dependent effect. We aimed to evaluate the effect of the implementation of a protocol for the restrictive use of oxytocin during spontaneous labor on obstetric and neonatal outcomes.
Material and methods
We performed an observational before-and-after study among 2174 women in spontaneous labor with a term singleton cephalic fetus. Obstetric and neonatal outcomes were compared according to the period, before (period A) and after (period B) the implementation of a protocol for the restrictive use of oxytocin.
1235 women were included in period A and 939 in period B. Compared to period A, the use of oxytocin during period B was significantly lower (45.5 vs. 35.1%, p<0.001) in both nulliparous (61.2 vs 54.6%, p=0.04) and multiparous women (34.0 vs. 21.1%, p<0.001). Labor was significantly longer in period B, both in nulliparous (6.7 vs. 7.9 h, p<0.01) and multiparous women (4.1 vs. 4.5 h, p<0.01). A lower frequency of uterine hyperstimulation (6.6 vs. 2.7%, p=0.01) was observed in period B. The odds of instrumental and cesarean delivery were not different between the periods (respectively adjusted odds ratio (AOR), 95% confidence interval (CI), 1.1(0.8–1.4); 1.2(0.8–1.8)) including for nulliparous women (respectively, 1.3(0.9–1.7); 1.3(0.8–1.9)).
Reducing the use of oxytocin during spontaneous labor through the implementation of a protocol may reduce the iatrogenic effects without increasing the risk of caesarean section but this implies longer duration of labor.Le texte complet de cet article est disponible en PDF.
Keywords : Oxytocin, Spontaneous labor, Augmentation of labor, Prolonged labor, Cesarean, Monitoring protocol