The study documented facility-based obstetric practices for normal labor in Egypt for the first time, to determine their relationship to evidence-based medicine. This paper describes the labor augmentation pattern observed.
176 cases of normal labor were observed by medically-trained observers using a checklist. Ward activities were also documented. Observed women were interviewed postpartum and all findings were shared with the providers for their feedback.
Labor was augmented in 91% (165) of the labors observed; this was inappropriate for 93% or 154 women. Reasons for inappropriateness were: oxytocin ordered at the first vaginal exam (41%); in spite of intact membranes (36%), at the time of membrane rupture (42%), in spite of good progress (24%), or a combination of these. The monitoring of oxytocin-receiving women and their babies was inadequate.
Labor augmentation and monitoring deviated from evidence-based guidelines. Obstacles to implementing protocols need to be explored.