Oxytocin

Interesting article in the Jan. issue of the American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology (AJOG), “Oxytocin: new perpsectives on an old drug.” In recognition of the fact that the Institute for Safe Medication Practices has added IV oxytocin to the short list of “high-alert” medications (www.ismp.org/Newsletters/acutecare/articles/20070809.pdf), the authors focus on patient safety. They recommend reducing or eliminating most, if not all; elective inductions; low-dose protocols for using Pitocin; and reliance on the bedside nurse to determine when too much Pitocin is being given. One weakness of the article is the assertion of the authors that, given the safety of cesareans, “the time is long past when the cesarean delivery rate can be considered a primary outcome of any importance.” What? A nice thing about the AJOG is that you can download free pdf summaries of articles from their table of contents. www.ajog.org.

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