Papers And Originals

Neonatal Jaundice and Maternal Oxytocin Infusion

Br Med J 1973; 3 doi: (Published 01 September 1973) Cite this as: Br Med J 1973;3:476
  1. D. P. Davies,
  2. R. Gomersall,
  3. R. Robertson,
  4. O. P. Gray,
  5. A. C. Turnbull


    A prospective study of 78 neonates provides evidence for an association between maternal oxytocin infusion and neonatal jaundice. On the second and fifth days infants of mothers whose labour had been induced by amniotomy followed immediately by intravenous oxytocin (group C) had mean total bilirubin levels significantly higher (P <0·05) than did infants whose mothers had had a spontaneous onset of labour and did not require oxytocin (group A). Bilirubin levels in infants of mothers whose onset of labour was spontaneous but required oxytocin to accelerate progress (group B) did not differ significantly from group A.

    Though these findings suggest a dose dependent effect of oxytocin, other possible explanations are suggested which take into account other drugs administered to the mother and also differences in the corticosteroid status of the groups of infants.