• A complication after a previous caesarean section.

      Barrett, Niamh; Sheehan, Sharon R; Murphy, Deirdre J; Coombe Women and Infants' University Hospital, Dublin 8, Ireland. (2012-02-01)
    • Implementation of guidelines on oxytocin use at caesarean section: a survey of practice in Great Britain and Ireland.

      Sheehan, Sharon R; Wedisinghe, Lilantha; Macleod, Maureen; Murphy, Deirdre J; Academic Department of Obstetrics & Gynaecology, Coombe Women and Infants, University Hospital & Trinity College, University of Dublin, Dublin 8, Ireland., sharon.sheehan@tcd.ie (2012-02-01)
      OBJECTIVE: Caesarean section is one of the most commonly performed major operations on women worldwide. Operative morbidity includes haemorrhage, anaemia, blood transfusion and in severe cases, maternal death. Various clinical guidelines address oxytocin use at the time of caesarean section. We previously reported wide variation in practice amongst clinicians in the United Kingdom in the use of oxytocin at caesarean section. The aim of this current study was to determine whether the variation in approach is universal across the individual countries of Great Britain and Ireland and whether this reflects differences in interpretation and implementation of clinical practice guidelines. STUDY DESIGN: We conducted a survey of practice in the five individual countries of Great Britain and Ireland. A postal questionnaire was sent to all lead consultant obstetricians and anaesthetists with responsibility for the labour ward. We explored the use of oxytocin bolus and infusion, the measurement of blood loss at caesarean section and the rates of major haemorrhage. Existing clinical guidelines from the National Institute for Clinical Excellence (NICE), the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists (RCOG) and ALSO (Advanced Life Support in Obstetrics) were used to benchmark reported practice against recommended practice for the management of blood loss at caesarean section. RESULTS: The response rate was 82% (391 respondents). Use of a 5 IU oxytocin bolus was reported by 346 respondents (85-95% for individual countries). In some countries, up to 14% used a 10 IU oxytocin bolus despite recommendations against this. Routine use of an oxytocin infusion varied greatly between countries (11% lowest-55% highest). Marked variations in choice of oxytocin regimens were noted with inconsistencies in the country-specific recommendations, e.g. NICE (which covers England and Wales) recommends a 30 IU oxytocin infusion over 4h, but only 122 clinicians (40%) used this. CONCLUSIONS: Clinicians' approach to the use of oxytocin at the time of caesarean delivery varies between countries. Even in countries with on-site visits to ensure guideline implementation (e.g. Clinical Negligence Scheme for Trusts in England), deviations from guideline recommendations exist. These variations may reflect a lack of robust evidence and the need for future research in this area.
    • Oxytocin bolus versus oxytocin bolus and infusion for control of blood loss at elective caesarean section: double blind, placebo controlled, randomised trial.

      Sheehan, Sharon R; Montgomery, Alan A; Carey, Michael; McAuliffe, Fionnuala M; Eogan, Maeve; Gleeson, Ronan; Geary, Michael; Murphy, Deirdre J; Academic Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, Trinity College Dublin, Coombe Women and Infants University Hospital, Dublin 8, Ireland. (2011)
      To determine the effects of adding an oxytocin infusion to bolus oxytocin on blood loss at elective caesarean section.
    • Study protocol. ECSSIT - Elective Caesarean Section Syntocinon Infusion Trial. A multi-centre randomised controlled trial of oxytocin (Syntocinon) 5 IU bolus and placebo infusion versus oxytocin 5 IU bolus and 40 IU infusion for the control of blood loss at elective caesarean section.

      Murphy, Deirdre J; Carey, Michael; Montgomery, Alan A; Sheehan, Sharon R; Obstetrics & Gynaecology, Coombe Women and Infants University Hospital, Trinity, College Dublin, Dublin 8, Ireland. deirdre.j.murphy@tcd.ie (2012-02-01)
      BACKGROUND: Caesarean section is one of the most commonly performed major operations in women throughout the world. Rates are escalating, with studies from the United States of America, the United Kingdom, China and the Republic of Ireland reporting rates between 20% and 25%. Operative morbidity includes haemorrhage, anaemia, blood transfusion and in severe cases, maternal death. The value of routine oxytocics in the third stage of vaginal birth has been well established and it has been assumed that these benefits apply to caesarean delivery as well. A slow bolus dose of oxytocin is recommended following delivery of the baby at caesarean section. Some clinicians use an additional infusion of oxytocin for a further period following the procedure. Intravenous oxytocin has a very short half-life (4-10 minutes) therefore the potential advantage of an oxytocin infusion is that it maintains uterine contractility throughout the surgical procedure and immediate postpartum period, when most primary haemorrhages occur. The few trials to date addressing the optimal approach to preventing haemorrhage at caesarean section have been under-powered to evaluate clinically important outcomes. There has been no trial to date comparing the use of an intravenous slow bolus of oxytocin versus an oxytocin bolus and infusion. METHODS AND DESIGN: A multi-centre randomised controlled trial is proposed. The study will take place in five large maternity units in Ireland with collaboration between academics and clinicians in the disciplines of obstetrics and anaesthetics. It will involve 2000 women undergoing elective caesarean section after 36 weeks gestation. The main outcome measure will be major haemorrhage (blood loss >1000 ml). A study involving 2000 women will have 80% power to detect a 36% relative change in the risk of major haemorrhage with two-sided 5% alpha. DISCUSSION: It is both important and timely that we evaluate the optimal approach to the management of the third stage at elective caesarean section. Safe operative delivery is now a priority and a reality for many pregnant women. Obstetricians, obstetric anaesthetists, midwives and pregnant women need high quality evidence on which to base management approaches. The overall aim is to reduce maternal haemorrhagic morbidity and its attendant risks at elective caesarean section. TRIAL REGISTRATION: number: ISRCTN17813715.