Amnioinfusion for potential or suspected umbilical cord compression in labour
RHL practical aspects by Boulvain M
FIRST CONTACT (PRIMARY CARE) LEVEL
The results of this review suggest that amnioinfusion reduces the use of caesarean section in a context where fetal distress is diagnosed by fetal heart rate abnormalities alone. Thus, the benefits will be very limited in the context of a primary health care centre where caesarean section is not available at all. Fetal heart rate abnormalities diagnosed by intermittent auscultation, especially if associated with symptoms of a cause for the suspected fetal distress (e.g. prolonged labour, bleeding), warrant transfer to the referral hospital for further management.
REFERRAL HOSPITAL (SECONDARY CARE) LEVEL
In order to reduce the frequency of caesarean section for suspected fetal distress, amnioinfusion may be justified where facilities to perform scalp blood gas analyses to verify fetal well-being are not readily available.
AT HOME OR IN THE COMMUNITY
Note: For the technique, see practical aspects section of amnioinfusion for meconium stained amniotic fluid.
This document should be cited as: Boulvain M. Amnioinfusion for potential or suspected umbilical cord compression in labour: RHL practical aspects (last revised: 24 June 2002). The WHO Reproductive Health Library; Geneva: World Health Organization.