Discontinuation of Oxytocin in induced labor may lower risk
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According to recent study reports published in the British Medical Journal, in a setting where monitoring of the fetal condition and uterine contractions can be guaranteed, routine discontinuation of oxytocin stimulation may lead to a small increase in cesarean section rate but a significantly reduced risk of uterine hyperstimulation and abnormal fetal heart rate patterns.

The aim of this study was to determine whether discontinuing oxytocin stimulation in the active phase of induced labor is associated with lower cesarean section rates.

1200 women stimulated with intravenous oxytocin infusion during the latent phase of induced labor were included. Women were randomly assigned to have their oxytocin stimulation discontinued or continued in the active phase of labor.

A total of 607 women were assigned to discontinuation and 593 to the continuation of the oxytocin infusion.

~~The rates of cesarean section were 16.6% in the discontinued group and 14.2% in the continued group.

~~In 94 parous women with no previous cesarean section, the cesarean section rate was 7.5% in the discontinued group and 0.6% in the continued group.

~~Discontinuation was associated with a longer duration of labor, a reduced risk of hyperstimulation, and a reduced risk of fetal heart rate abnormalities; but rates of other adverse maternal and neonatal outcomes were similar between groups.

In particular, in a setting where monitoring of the fetal condition and the uterine contractions can be guaranteed, routine discontinuation of oxytocin stimulation may lead to a small increase in cesarean section rate but a significantly reduced risk of uterine hyperstimulation and abnormal fetal heart rate patterns.

Source: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.n716
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