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Database - Alliance francophone pour l'accouchement respecté (AFAR)

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Created on : 16 Dec 2008
Modified on : 16 Dec 2008

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Bibliographical entry (without author) :

A randomised controlled trial of routine versus restrictive use of episiotomy at operative vaginal delivery: a multicentre pilot study. BJOG: An International Journal of Obstetrics & Gynaecology Volume 115 Issue 13, Pages 1695 - 1703 Published Online: 13 Nov 2008

Author(s) :

DJ Murphy, M Macleod, R Bahl, K Goyder, L Howarth, B Strachan

Year of publication :


URL(s) :…

Résumé (français)  :

Abstract (English)  :

Objective To compare the maternal and neonatal outcomes of operative vaginal delivery in relation to the use of episiotomy.

Design Pilot randomised controlled trial (RCT).

Setting Two urban maternity units in Scotland and England.

Sample Nulliparous women anticipating a singleton cephalic vaginal delivery were recruited in the antenatal period.

Methods If an operative vaginal delivery was required in the second stage of labour, women were randomised to either routine (in all cases) or restrictive (only if tearing apparent) use of episiotomy.

Main outcome measures The primary outcome was anal sphincter tearing (third or fourth degree). Secondary outcomes included postpartum haemorrhage (PPH), neonatal trauma and pelvic floor symptoms up until 10 days postpartum.

Results In a group of 317 women requiring operative vaginal delivery, 200 were randomised: 99 to routine use of episiotomy and 101 to restrictive use. There were small differences in the rates of anal sphincter tears (8.1% routine versus 10.9% restrictive, OR 0.72, 95% CI 0.28–1.87) and primary PPH (36.4% routine versus 26.7% restrictive, OR 1.57, 95% CI 0.86–2.86). Neonatal trauma was similar between the two groups (45.5% routine versus 43.6% restrictive, OR 1.08, 95% CI 0.62–1.89), as was prolonged catheterisation, urinary incontinence, faecal incontinence, perineal infection and prolonged hospital admission.

Conclusions This pilot study does not provide conclusive evidence that a policy of routine episiotomy is better or worse than a restrictive policy. A definitive RCT is feasible but will require a large sample size to inform clinical practice.

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Keywords :

➡ episiotomy ; forceps delivery ; vacuum extraction (ventouse)

Author of this record :

Emmanuelle Phan — 16 Dec 2008

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