Title

Injections during labor and intrapartum-related hypoxic injury and mortality in rural southern Nepal

Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Date

1-1-2013

Journal

International Journal of Gynecology and Obstetrics

Volume

122

Issue

1

DOI

10.1016/j.ijgo.2013.02.013

Keywords

Home births; Injections; Neonatal encephalopathy; Neonatal mortality; Nepal

Abstract

Objective To estimate the association between unmonitored use of injections during labor and intrapartum-related neonatal mortality and morbidity among home births. Methods Recently delivered women in Sarlahi, Nepal, reported whether they had received injections during labor. Data on breathing and crying status at birth, time to first breath, respiratory rate, sucking ability, and lethargy were gathered. Neonatal respiratory depression (NRD) and encephalopathy (NE) were compared by injection receipt status using multivariate regression models. Results Injections during labor were frequently reported (7108 of 22 352 [31.8%]) and were predominantly given by unqualified village "doctors." Multivariate analysis (excluding facility births and complicated deliveries) revealed associations with intrapartum-related NRD (relative risk [RR] 2.52; 95% CI, 2.29-2.78) and NE (RR 3.48; 95% CI, 2.46-4.93). The risks of neonatal death associated with intrapartum-related NRD (RR 3.78; 95% CI, 2.53-5.66) or NE (RR 4.47; 95% CI, 2.78-7.19) were also elevated. Conclusion Injection during labor was widespread at the community level. This practice was associated with poor outcomes and possibly related to the inappropriate use of uterotonics by unqualified providers. Interventions are required to increase the safety of childbirth in the community and in peripheral health facilities. Parent trial registered at clinicaltrials.gov (NCT00 109616). © 2013 International Federation of Gynecology and Obstetrics.

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