Lumbar sympathetic blocks speed early and second stage induced labor in nulliparous women.
BACKGROUND: Rapid cervical dilation reportedly accompanies lumbar sympathetic blockade, whereas epidural analgesia is associated with slow labor. The authors compared the effects of initial lumbar sympathetic block with those of epidural analgesia on labor speed and delivery mode in this pilot study. METHODS: At a hospital not practicing active labor management, full-term nulliparous patients whose labors were induced randomly received initial lumbar sympathetic block or epidural analgesia. The latter patients received 10 ml bupivacaine, 0.125%; 50 microg fentanyl; and 100 microg epinephrine epidurally and sham lumbar sympathetic blocks. Patients to have lumbar sympathetic blocks received 10 ml bupivacaine, 0.5%; 25 microg fentanyl; and 50 microg epinephrine bilaterally and epidural catheters. Subsequently, all patients received epidural analgesia. RESULTS: Cervical dilation occurred more quickly (57 vs. 120 min/cm cervical dilation; P = 0.05) during the first 2 h of analgesia in patients having lumbar sympathetic blocks (n = 17) than in patients having epidurals (n = 19). The second stage of labor was briefer in patients having lumbar sympathetic blocks than in those having epidurals (105 vs. 270 min; P < 0.05). Nine patients having lumbar sympathetic block and seven having epidurals delivered spontaneously, whereas seven patients having lumbar sympathetic block and seven having epidurals had instrument-assisted vaginal deliveries. Cesarean delivery for fetal bradycardia occurred in one patient having lumbar sympathetic block. Cesarean delivery for dystocia occurred in five patients having epidurals compared with no patient having lumbar sympathetic block (P = not significant). Visual analog pain scores differed only at 60 min after block. CONCLUSIONS: Nulliparous parturients having induced labor and receiving initial lumbar sympathetic blocks had faster cervical dilation during the first 2 h of analgesia, shorter second-stage labors, and a trend toward a lower dystocia cesarean delivery rate than did patients having epidural analgesia. The effects of lumbar sympathetic block on labor need to be determined in other patient groups. These results may help define the tocodynamic effects of regional labor analgesia. (+info)
Evaluation of cerebral perfusion pressure changes in laboring women: effects of epidural anesthesia.
OBJECTIVE: To compare the effect of epidural anesthesia on cerebral perfusion pressure in laboring women. STUDY DESIGN: Maternal cerebral blood flow velocity was assessed in seven laboring patients with continuous epidural anesthesia and 15 without, using transcranial Doppler. Maternal cerebral blood flow velocity was assessed during the first stage at the trough of a contraction, at the peak of a contraction and at the second stage during pushing over the course of four contractions. Calculated estimated cerebral perfusion pressure: eCPP = Vmean/(Vmean - Vdiastolic) x (mean BP - diastolic BP), where V is velocity and BP is blood pressure; modified from Aaslid and colleagues. An index of cerebrovascular resistance, the resistance area product, was calculated: RAP = mean BP/mean velocity. We calculated an index of cerebral blood flow (cerebral blood flow index): CBF index = eCPP/RAP. RESULTS: In non-epidural patients, the eCPP fell significantly at the peak of a contraction and during pushing. Cerebrovascular resistance, RAP, rose significantly during the peak of a contraction, although cerebral blood flow did not change. In patients undergoing epidural anesthesia, the stages of labor had no significant effect on eCPP or RAP; however, these values were lower than those in patients without epidural anesthesia. CONCLUSIONS: The epidural group had a lower eCPP and RAP and cerebral blood flow index compared to the non-epidural group. In the non-epidural group, the mean arterial pressure was higher in all stages of labor with a trend towards an increase in eCPP and cerebral blood flow index. (+info)
Perineal massage in labour and prevention of perineal trauma: randomised controlled trial.
OBJECTIVE: To determine the effects of perineal massage in the second stage of labour on perineal outcomes. DESIGN: Randomised controlled trial. PARTICIPANTS: At 36 weeks' gestation, women expecting normal birth of a singleton were asked to join the study. Women became eligible to be randomised in labour if they progressed to full dilatation of the cervix or 8 cm or more if nulliparous or 5 cm or more if multiparous. 1340 were randomised into the trial. INTERVENTION: Massage and stretching of the perineum during the second stage of labour with a water soluble lubricant. MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: PRIMARY OUTCOMES: rates of intact perineum, episiotomies, and first, second, third, and fourth degree tears. SECONDARY OUTCOMES: pain at three and 10 days postpartum and pain, dyspareunia, resumption of sexual intercourse, and urinary and faecal incontinence and urgency three months postpartum. RESULTS: Rates of intact perineums, first and second degree tears, and episiotomies were similar in the massage and the control groups. There were fewer third degree tears in the massage group (12 (1.7%) v 23 (3.6%); absolute risk 2.11, relative risk 0.45; 95% confidence interval 0.23 to 0.93, P<0.04), though the trial was underpowered to measure this rarer outcome. Groups did not differ in any of the secondary outcomes at the three assessment points. CONCLUSIONS: The practice of perineal massage in labour does not increase the likelihood of an intact perineum or reduce the risk of pain, dyspareunia, or urinary and faecal problems. (+info)
Intrapartum fetal head position II: comparison between transvaginal digital examination and transabdominal ultrasound assessment during the second stage of labor.
OBJECTIVE: To test the null hypothesis that no correlation exists between transvaginal digital examination compared with the gold standard technique of transabdominal suprapubic ultrasound assessment of fetal head position during the second stage of labor. A secondary objective was to compare the performance of attending physicians vs. senior residents in depicting fetal head position by transvaginal digital examination in comparison with ultrasound assessment. METHODS: Consecutive patients in the second-stage of labor at term with normal singleton cephalic-presenting fetuses and ruptured membranes were included. Transvaginal digital examinations were performed by either attending physicians or senior residents and were followed immediately by transverse suprapubic transabdominal sonographic assessments performed by a single sonographer. Examiners were blinded to each other's findings. Power analysis dictated sample size. Exact binomial confidence intervals around observed rates were compared with chi 2 and Cohen's kappa-tests. Logistic regression was applied. P < 0.05 was considered significant throughout. RESULTS: One hundred and twelve patients were studied. The absolute error of transvaginal digital examinations was recorded in 65% of patients (95% confidence interval, 56-74%). Parity, pelvic station, combined spinal epidural anesthesia, length of first or second stages of labor, use of oxytocin augmentation, gestational age, mode of delivery, birth weight, and examiner experience did not significantly affect examination accuracy. Stratification, when the transvaginal digital examination was recorded as correct if occurring within +/- 45 degrees of the ultrasound assessment, reduced the error of the transvaginal digital examinations to 39% (95% confidence interval, 30-49%). Independent variables again did not affect examination accuracy in this assessment modality. Rates of agreement between the two methods for attending physicians compared with residents were not significantly different. The overall degrees of agreement were 40% (95% confidence interval, 26-55%) and 68% (95% confidence interval, 53-80%) (kappa = 0.25 and 0.30) for the absolute agreement and +/- 45 degrees assessment modalities, respectively, for attending physicians, and 31% (95% confidence interval, 20-44%) and 55% (95% confidence interval, 42-68%) (kappa = 0.14 and 0.12) for senior residents. CONCLUSION: Using ultrasound assessment as the gold standard, our data demonstrate a high rate of error (65%) in transvaginal digital determination of fetal head position during the second stage of labor. The performance of senior residents in transvaginal digital examinations did not differ significantly from that of attending physicians. Intrapartum ultrasound increases the accuracy of fetal head position assessment during the second stage of labor. (+info)
Comparison of intravenous oxytocin and prostaglandin E2 for accelerating labour.
In a prospective study of 52 consecutive women who required acceleration of labour intravenous prostaglandin E2 (PGE2) was used as the oxytocic agent. These mothers were matched for age, parity, height, gestational age, initial cervical dilatation, and station and position of the fetal head with 52 women whose labours were accelerated with oxytocin; both drugs were equally effective. Acceleration to delivery intervals, second-stage durations, the number of assisted deliveries, and Apgar scores were similar regardless of the oxytocic used. Although PGE2 compares well with oxytocin, it offers no further advantages and is more expensive and less well tried than oxytocin. (+info)
Obstetric and neonatal care related to outcome. A comparison of two maternity hospitals.
Infants of birthweight up to 2500 g born in 1966 in two district hospitals were followed-up until their school medical examination at six years. Neonatal mortality rates differed in the two cohorts despite similar maternal age, parity, and social class distribution; differences in the management of labour and in neonatal care may have been responsible. Numbers were small but the prevalence of mild or more severe handicaps among the survivors did not differ significantly between the cohorts; an improved mortality was not achieved at the expense of an increased overall morbidity, although there was a suggestion of a difference in cerebral palsy prevalence. It is suggested that the neonatal mortality rate in conjunction with the prevalence of handicaps among the survivors of low birthweight infants be used as an indicator of the efficacy of perinatal care. (+info)
Women's views on the impact of operative delivery in the second stage of labour: qualitative interview study.
OBJECTIVE: To obtain the views of women on the impact of operative delivery in the second stage of labour. DESIGN: Qualitative interview study. SETTING: Two urban teaching hospitals in the United Kingdom. PARTICIPANTS: Purposive sample of 27 women who had undergone operative delivery in the second stage of labour between January 2000 and January 2002. KEY THEMES: Preparation for birth, understandings of the indications for operative delivery, and explanation or debriefing after birth. RESULTS: The women felt unprepared for operative delivery and thought that their birth plan or antenatal classes had not catered adequately for this event. They emphasised the importance of maintaining an open mind about the management of labour. They had difficulty understanding the need for operative delivery despite a review by medical and midwifery staff before discharge. Operative delivery had a noticeable impact on women's views about future pregnancy and delivery. CONCLUSIONS: Women consider postnatal debriefing and medical review important deficiencies in current care. Those who experienced operative delivery in the second stage of labour would welcome the opportunity to have a later review of their intrapartum care, physical recovery, and management of future pregnancies. (+info)
Outcome of subsequent pregnancy three years after previous operative delivery in the second stage of labour: cohort study.
OBJECTIVE: To evaluate the reproductive outcome and the mode of delivery in subsequent pregnancies after instrumental vaginal delivery in theatre or caesarean section at full dilatation. DESIGN: Prospective cohort study. SETTING: Two urban hospitals with a combined total of 10 000 deliveries a year. PARTICIPANTS: A cohort of 393 women with term, singleton, cephalic pregnancies who needed operative delivery in theatre during the second stage of labour from February 1999 to February 2000. Postal questionnaires were received from 283 women (72%) at three years after the initial delivery. MAIN OUTCOME MEASURE: Mode of delivery in the subsequent pregnancy. RESULTS: 140 women (49%) achieved a further pregnancy at three years. 91/283 (32%) women wished to avoid a further pregnancy. Women were more likely to aim for vaginal delivery (87% (47/54) v 33% (18/54); adjusted odds ratio 15.55 (95% confidence interval 5.25 to 46.04)) and more likely to have a vaginal delivery (78% (42/54) v 31% (17/54); 9.50 (3.48 to 25.97)) if they had had a previous instrumental vaginal delivery rather than a caesarean section. There was a high rate of vaginal delivery after caesarean section among women who attempted vaginal delivery 17/18 (94%). In both groups, fear of childbirth was a frequently reported reason for avoiding a further pregnancy (51% after instrumental vaginal delivery, 42% after caesarean section; 1.75 (0.58 to 5.25)). CONCLUSION: Instrumental vaginal delivery offers advantages over caesarean section for future delivery outcomes. The psychological impact of operative delivery requires urgent attention. (+info)