Obstetric performance, perinatal outcome and risk of infection to the newborn in spontaneous and artificial rupture of membranes during labour

H R Seneviratne, G D de Silva, M V de Silva, T Rudra
Ceylon Medical Journal 1998, 43 (1): 11-5

OBJECTIVE: To compare the obstetric performance, perinatal outcome and risk of neonatal infection in labour following spontaneous (SROM) and artificial (AROM) rupture of membranes.

DESIGN: Prospective, non-randomised, comparative study during a one-month period in 1995. The study was approved by the ethics committee of the Faculty of Medicine, University of Colombo.

SETTING: University Obstetrics Unit at De Soysa Hospital for Women, Colombo.

PATIENTS: 324 women who were in early established labour after 37 weeks of gestation. 151 of these had SROM and 173 AROM. The AROM and SROM groups among primigravidae and multigravidae were considered separately.

RESULTS: Oxytocin use in multigravidae was significantly higher in the AROM group than in the SROM group (p < 0.001). The emergency caesarean section (LSCS) rate in primigravidae was significantly higher in the AROM group than the SROM group (p < 0.001). A significantly larger number of primigravid AROM women had abnormal fetal heart rate changes on auscultation (p < 0.05) and cardiotopographic (CTG) patterns (p < 0.001) when compared with primigravid SROM women. Choreoamnionitis and funisitis were commoner in the AROM group although the difference was not statistically significant.

CONCLUSIONS: AROM appears to be associated with a higher chance of fetal distress particularly in primigravidae. Both AROM and SROM are associated with a potential risk of infection at intrauterine sites.

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