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Oxytocin and emergency caesarean section in a mediumsized hospital in Pakistan: A cross-sectional study

  • Lukasse, Mirjam1, 2
  • Hovda, Ingrid1
  • Thommessen, Sara1
  • McAuley, Sosan3
  • Morrison, Marian3
  • 1 Institute of Nursing and Health Promotion, Faculty of Health Sciences, Oslo Metropolitan University, Oslo, Norway
  • 2 Department of Nursing and Health Sciences, Faculty of Health and Social Sciences,University of South-Eastern Norway, Borre, Norway
  • 3 Women's Christian Hospital,Multan, Pakistan
Published Article
European Journal of Midwifery
European Publishing
Publication Date
Aug 06, 2020
DOI: 10.18332/ejm/124111
PMID: 33537634
PMCID: PMC7839144
PubMed Central


INTRODUCTION One of the most common complications during labor is prolonged labor (dystocia), which is associated with risks for the mother and fetus. Dystocia is usually treated with oxytocin, which is also used to induce labor. Oxytocin may not have the desired effect of progress and can negatively affect the fetus, thus resulting in an emergency caesarean section (CS). The aim of this study was to describe obstetric practice, use of oxytocin and its association with an emergency CS. METHODS A cross-sectional retrospective register study was conducted that included all women who gave birth during 2014 and 2015 at a hospital in a large city in Pakistan. RESULTS A total of 6652 women gave birth to 6767 newborns, 66.8% were multiparous and 33.2% primiparous women. Of the primiparous women, 78.9% had a spontaneous vaginal birth, 1.2% an elective CS and 14.4% an emergency CS. Of the multiparous women, 81.9% had a spontaneous vaginal birth, 8.0% an elective CS and 6.7% an emergency CS. Operative vaginal birth was 2.1% among primiparous and 0.2% among multiparous women. Oxytocin for induction or augmentation was administered to 60.0% of primiparous and 30.5% of multiparous women. Oxytocin during the first stage of labor was associated with an increased risk for emergency CS for both primiparous and multiparous women. CONCLUSIONS Despite the association between oxytocin and emergency CS, the CS rate was low in this hospital. The majority of the women gave birth vaginally, even with a breech presentation. Few operative vaginal births were performed.

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