The impact of a policy of amnioinfusion for meconium-stained amniotic fluid

I M Usta, B M Mercer, N K Aswad, B M Sibai
Obstetrics and Gynecology 1995, 85 (2): 237-41

OBJECTIVE: To evaluate the impact of an amnioinfusion (AI) policy for thick or moderate meconium-stained amniotic fluid (AF) on neonatal outcome, specifically meconium-aspiration syndrome and its complications.

METHODS: We reviewed maternal and neonatal charts of 937 vertex, singleton pregnancies complicated by moderate or thick meconium-stained AF during a 3-year period. The patients were divided into groups according to whether AI was performed. Demographic characteristics, risk factors, mode of delivery, pregnancy outcome, and neonatal complications, including meconium-aspiration syndrome, were analyzed.

RESULTS: Four hundred forty patients (47%) received AI (AI group); 497 (53%) did not, for the following reasons: imminent delivery (310 patients), occult meconium (141), or emergency cesarean delivery (46) (no-AI group). Our study did not show any reduction in the incidence of 5-minute Apgar scores of 7 or less (8 versus 7%), meconium below the vocal cords (28 versus 29%), meconium aspiration syndrome (4.5 versus 3.8%), ventilation requirement (4.3 versus 2.4%), or neonatal death (0.7 versus 0.2%) in the AI and no-AI groups, respectively. The AI group had a higher incidence of fetal heart rate abnormalities in labor (48 versus 31%, P < .05), instrumental delivery (15 versus 8%, P < .05), cesarean delivery (28 versus 17%, P < .001), and endometritis (21 versus 13%, P = .004).

CONCLUSIONS: With the policy of routine AI for moderate or thick meconium-stained AF, AI was not clinically feasible in 53% of the cases. We were unable to demonstrate any improvement in neonatal outcome in those who received AI for moderate or thick meconium.

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