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Papers And Originals

Active Management of Labour

Br Med J 1973; 3 doi: (Published 21 July 1973) Cite this as: Br Med J 1973;3:135
  1. Kieran O'Driscoll,
  2. John M. Stronge,
  3. Maurice Minogue


    Active management of labour has been developed to the extent that an assurance is given to every woman who attends this hospital that her first baby will be born within 12 hours. This assurance could lead to a welcome change in present attitudes because the mere prospect of prolonged labour is often a cause of serious concern during a first pregnancy. Labour of strictly limited duration makes it possible to provide every woman with a personal nurse, and it places the problem of pain in a new setting.

    The results of a prospective study of 1,000 consecutive primigravidae are presented, and the guidelines to a standard policy of management are defined. Difficulty in meeting the commitment to early delivery arose almost exclusively in cases in which the diagnosis of labour was in doubt; only seven women were retained in the delivery unit for 12 hours.