A randomized controlled trial comparing parenteral normal saline with and without 5% dextrose on the course of labor in nulliparous women

Chanderdeep Sharma, Jasvinder Kalra, Rashmi Bagga, Praveen Kumar
Archives of Gynecology and Obstetrics 2012, 286 (6): 1425-30

OBJECTIVE: The objective of this study was to compare intravenous normal saline with and without 5% dextrose on the course of labor in nulliparous women in active phase of spontaneous labor.

STUDY DESIGN: In a randomized controlled trial, term, nulliparous women with singleton pregnancy in active labor were randomized into one of two groups receiving either normal saline or normal saline alternating with 5% dextrose at rate of 175 ml/h. The primary outcome was total length of labor from onset of study fluid in vaginally delivered women. Maternal and neonatal outcomes were also analyzed.

RESULTS: Of 250 women enrolled, in vaginally delivered subjects, there was significant difference in the duration of labor (p=0.0) and prolonged labor (p=0.01), with favorable results for women in 5% dextrose alternating with normal saline. No statistically significant differences were observed in the cesarean section rates between the groups. The cord pH was significantly higher in neonates born to women in 5% dextrose alternating with normal saline infusion as compared to normal saline alone (p=0.01), however, no neonate in the study had acidemia.

CONCLUSION: Administration of a 5% dextrose solution alternating with normal saline is a better parenteral fluid for significantly decreasing duration of labor in term vaginally delivered nulliparous women in spontaneous active labor as compared to normal saline alone.

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