Oxytocin – ensuring appropriate use and balancing efficacy with safety
Maternal deaths due to haemorrhage continue to increase in South Africa (SA). It appears that oxytocin and other uterotonics are not being used optimally, even though they are an essential part of managing maternal haemorrhage. Oxytocin should be administered to every mother delivering in SA. Awareness is required of the side-effects that can occur and the appropriate measures to avoid harm from these. Second-line uterotonics should also be available and utilised in conjunction with mechanical and surgical means to arrest haemorrhage in women who continue to bleed after the appropriate administration of oxytocin.
Zane Farina, National Committee for Confidential Enquiries into Maternal Deaths in South Africa (NCCEMD); Pietermaritzburg Metropolitan Department of Anaesthesia; Department of Anaesthetics, College of Health Sciences, School of Clinical Medicine, University of KwaZulu-Natal, Durban, South Africa
Sue Fawcus, National Committee for Confidential Enquiries into Maternal Deaths in South Africa (NCCEMD); Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, Faculty of Health Sciences, University of Cape Town, South Africa; Obstetric Unit, Mowbray Maternity Hospital, Cape Town, South Africa
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Date published: 2015-02-26
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