Oxytocin use in South Africa : a review

Basson, E. ; Odendaal, H. J. ; Grove, D. (2005-06)


Objective. Oxytocin is one of the most frequently used drugs in labour and there are many different dosage-regimens. The aim of this study was to examine the use of oxytocin by obstetricians in South Africa. Methods. A specially designed questionnaire was drawn up and distributed to specialists according to an address list obtained from the South African Society of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists. Results. Three hundred and fifty questionnaires were distributed, with 174 processed for analysis. The majority of obstetricians (70.3%) reported that they would not use oxytocin for induction of labour in a patient with a previous lower-segment caesarean section, and 63.7% said that they would not consider the use of oxytocin in a patient with a multifetal pregnancy. Most respondents used oxytocin for induction of labour in multigravid patients and 91.9% also used oxytocin for augmentation in these patients. However, clinicians would not use oxytocin if the patient was a grand multipara. Conclusions. Most clinicians adhere to accepted protocols practised internationally, with a few exceptions. The use of oxytocin for both induction and augmentation of labour in women with one previous caesarean section is not practised in South Africa, despite evidence suggesting its safety.

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