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Systematic review
Oxytocin for slow progress in the first stage of spontaneous labour is not associated with different rates of caesarean or assisted delivery compared with no treatment or delayed use in second stage
  1. Michael Frölich
  1. Department of Anaesthesiology, University of Alabama, Birmingham,Alabama, USA
  1. Correspondence to Michael Frölich
    Department of Anaesthesiology, University of Alabama, 619 South 19th Street, Birmingham, AL 35249, USA; froelich{at}

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Bugg et al discuss the important question of whether labour augmentation with oxytocin would decrease the duration of labour. This treatment is part of active management of labour, a concept that also includes objective diagnosis of labour and early amniotomy.1 Slow progress of labour or ineffective uterine activity has been quoted as the cause of caesarean sections in 35% of women with cephalic pregnancies2 and as a possible cause for an increase in maternal and foetal morbidity.3 4 Several types of abnormal labour can be studied.

In 1989, the American College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists suggested that arrest of the first stage of labour cannot …

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