The elective use of oxytocin infusion during labour in nulliparous women using epidural analgesia A randomised double-blind placebo-controlled trial
by
Shennan AH, Smith R, Browne D, Edmonds DK, Morgan B.
Int J Obstet Anesth. 1995 Apr;4(2):78-81.


ABSTRACT

The obstetric outcome following the elective use of oxytocin infusion was determined in a randomised, double-blind placebo-controlled trial. 93 nulliparous women in a London hospital, who had requested epidural analgesia in labour ( 6 cm.), were given an infusion of oxytocin (n = 46) or placebo (n = 47). The initial epidural dose was 15 ml of 0.125% bupivacaine, followed by an infusion at 10 ml per h, with 15 ml top-ups if required. When oxytocin was used electively there was a reduction in the length of the first stage of labour from 696 min to 578 min, (P < 0.05) even though more than half of the control group (53%) required oxytocin augmentation. There was no significant difference between the number of operative deliveries (34 [74%] vs 35 [74%]). The rotational delivery rate was less in the study group (2 [4%] vs 5 [11%]), though this did not reach significance. There were no adverse effects on the fetus, as judged by cord pH measurement, Apgar score, admission to the special care baby unit and neonatal jaundice. The prophylactic use of oxytocin in nulliparous women with epidurals reduces the length of the first stage of labour and appears to be safe. It does not reduce the operative delivery rate.
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