Labor induction with misoprostol appears to be a safe and effective alternative to other methods of labor induction.
Objective To compare outcomes of hypoxia in offspring of women with labor induction with misoprostol and the control group where misoprostol was not used.
Methods Retroprospective study analyzing hypoxia in term neonates born in Kaunas University of Medicine hospital in 2005–2006. We investigated data from 545 newborns with hypoxia: 91 offspring of women with labor induction with misoprostol and 454 neonates from a control group.
Results The rate of hypoxia in the misoprostol group was higher than in the control group (22.0% vs 9.2%, p<0.05). The mean cord pH and the base deficit were comparable in the two groups. More neonates from the misoprostol group had acute hypoxia (50.5% vs 31.5%, p<0.05) or needed neonatal resuscitation (19.8% vs 9.9%, p>0.05). The incidence of meconium aspiration syndrome was higher in the misoprostol group (20.8% vs 0.4%, p<0.05). From the misoprostol group, more neonates were admitted to the NICU within 24 hours after delivery than from the control group (16.4% vs 7.0%, p<0.05), but there was no difference in the length of treatment in NICU.
Conclusions Our findings showed that misoprostol use is associated with an increased probability of meconium aspiration and a higher chance of admittance to the NICU within 24 hours. There is evidence to suggest that misoprostol is effective at inducing labor, yet certain precautions should be taken.
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