Authors' reply

BMJ 1995; 310 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.310.6982.807a (Published 25 March 1995) Cite this as: BMJ 1995;310:807
  1. V Hundley,
  2. G D Land,
  3. D Blyth,
  4. M Turner,
  5. F M Cruickshank,
  6. J M Milne,
  7. Cathryn Glazener,
  8. Jill Mollison,
  9. C Donaldson
  1. Research fellow Consultant obstetrician Research assistant Project assistant Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, University of Aberdeen, Aberdeen Maternity Hospital, Aberdeen AB9 2ZA
  2. Research sister Nurse manager Aberdeen Royal Hospitals NHS Trust, Aberdeen AB9 2ZA
  3. Wellcome research fellow in postnatal care Research assistant Health Services Research Unit, University of Aberdeen, Aberdeen AB9 2ZD
  4. Deputy director Health Economics Reseach Unit, Department of Public Health, University of Aberdeen, Aberdeen AB9 2ZD

    EDITOR,—Women who were no longer at low risk cannot be removed from the analysis because it is not possible to identify them retrospectively in the labour ward group. The definition of risk and the indication for transfer from the midwives unit group were left to the judgment of the midwife or obstetrician in charge of the woman's care. No equivalent judgment was needed for the labour ward group, and to attempt this retrospectively could lead to serious selection bias. Furthermore, “the purpose of randomisation is to avoid selection bias and to generate …

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