Umbilical vein oxytocin in the management of retained placenta: an alternative to manual removal of placenta?
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Retained placenta is potentially life threatening due to possible complications associated with manual removal. Our aim was to determine whether umbilical vein injection of oxytocin in saline reduces the need for manual removal of placenta.
This was a randomised controlled trial conducted at a tertiary hospital from December 2002 to March 2004. A total of 61 women delivering singletons, who had no sign of placental separation 20 min after vaginal delivery, were randomised to receive either intra-umbilical oxytocin 100 IU diluted in 30 ml of saline or controlled cord traction only. Manual removal was done if the placenta was not expelled in another 30 min in both arms.
There was a significant reduction in the rate of subsequent manual removal of placenta (30 vs. 67.7%, p < 0.05), incidence of uterine atony (3.3 vs. 25.8%, p < 0.05) and the need for uterotonic agents (33.3 vs. 64.5%, p < 0.05) in the oxytocin group when compared with the control group. No significant differences were found in the need for blood transfusion, uterine curettage, incidence of postpartum haemorrhage and haemoglobin level reduction.
Intra-umbilical vein oxytocin injection is clinically effective for the management of a retained placenta.
KeywordsIntra-umbilical Oxytocin Retained Placenta Umbilical vein
The authors wish to thank the staffs of the labour suite and the patients who had participated in this study.
Conflict of interest
We declare that we have no conflict of interest.
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