University of Oulu

Modern methods in the prevention and management of complications in labor

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Author: Ojala, Kati1
Organizations: 1University of Oulu, Faculty of Medicine, Institute of Clinical Medicine, Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology
Format: ebook
Version: published version
Access: open
Online Access: PDF Full Text (PDF, 2.3 MB)
Persistent link:
Language: English
Published: 2010
Publish Date: 2010-04-30
Thesis type: Doctoral Dissertation
Defence Note: Academic dissertation to be presented with the assent of the Faculty of Medicine of the University of Oulu for public defence in Auditorium 4 of Oulu University Hospital, on 7 May 2010, at 12 noon
Reviewer: Docent Eeva Ekholm
Docent Jukka Uotila


Although in Finland the incidence of maternal and neonatal mortality in labor is very low, labor carries some risks. This study focused on two major complications in labor: fetal asphyxia and maternal hemorrhage. The roles of fetal electrocardiographic ST-analysis (STAN) and pelvic artery embolization in the prevention and management of these complications were investigated.

Intrapartum fetal monitoring aims at a timely detection of fetal hypoxemia. When non-selected parturients were randomly assigned to be monitored during labor either by STAN or conventional cardiotocography, no differences between the groups were detected in terms of neonatal outcome and operative delivery rates. Only the incidence of fetal blood sampling was lower in the STAN group. In the interpretation of the STAN tracings according to the guideline matrix provided by the STAN manufacturer, the interobserver agreement was moderate; in terms of clinical decision -making as to whether to intervene in the labor, this agreement varied from moderate to good among STAN-trained obstetricians.

The aim of prophylactic pelvic artery occlusion balloon catheterization, with or without embolization, is to reduce hemorrhage in elective cesarean operations in patients with placenta accreta. Furthermore, pelvic arterial embolization may be performed post partum if bleeding continues after cesarean hysterectomy, or may serve as an alternative to hysterectomy. In the present study, pelvic artery catheterization and embolization did not reduce blood loss during cesarean delivery, nor did it decrease the need to perform hysterectomy in patients with placenta accreta. In the management of massive postpartum hemorrhage, pelvic artery embolization was most successful in patients with uterine atony, with a success rate of 75% in achieving hemostasis. However, the angiographic method included risk of complications, the most hazardous being thromboembolic complications.

To conclude, STAN does not provide improvement in intrapartum fetal monitoring when compared to cardiotocography, but the need for fetal blood sampling is reduced. This may relate to the fact that subjective interpretation of STAN data is moderate at best. Prophylactic catheterization and embolization of pelvic arteries does not improve the surgical outcome of patients with placenta accreta. In the management of postpartum hemorrhage, pelvic artery embolization should be considered, especially in cases with uterine atony.

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Series: Acta Universitatis Ouluensis. D, Medica
ISSN-E: 1796-2234
ISBN: 978-951-42-6164-0
ISBN Print: 978-951-42-6163-3
Issue: 1051
Copyright information: © University of Oulu, 2010. This publication is copyrighted. You may download, display and print it for your own personal use. Commercial use is prohibited.