Fetal head position during the second stage of labor: comparison of digital vaginal examination and transabdominal ultrasonographic examination.
ABSTRACT To study the correlation between digital vaginal and transabdominal ultrasonographic examination of the fetal head position during the second stage of labor.
Patients (n = 110) carrying a singleton fetus in a vertex position were included. Every patient had ruptured membranes and a fully dilated cervix. Transvaginal examination was randomly performed either by a senior resident or an attending consultant. Immediately afterwards, transabdominal ultrasonography was performed by the same sonographer (OD). Both examiners were blind to each other's results. Sample size was determined by power analysis. Confidence intervals around observed rates were compared using chi-square analysis and Cohen's Kappa test. Logistic regression analysis was performed.
In 70% of cases, both clinical and ultrasound examinations indicated the same position of the fetal head (95% confidence interval, 66-78). Agreement between the two methods reached 80% (95% CI, 71.3-87) when allowing a difference of up to 45 degrees in the head rotation. Logistic regression analysis revealed that gestational age, parity, birth weight, pelvic station and examiner's experience did not significantly affect the accuracy of the examination. Caput succedaneum tended to diminish (p = 0.09) the accuracy of clinical examination. The type of fetal head position significantly affected the results. Occiput posterior and transverse head locations were associated with a significantly higher rate of clinical error (p = 0.001).
In 20% of the cases, ultrasonographic and clinical results differed significantly (i.e., >45 degrees). This rate reached 50% for occiput posterior and transverse locations. Transabdominal ultrasonography is a simple, quick and efficient way of increasing the accuracy of the assessment of fetal head position during the second stage of labor.
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ABSTRACT: The occipito-posterior (OP) fetal head position during the first stage of labour occurs in 10-34% of cephalic presentations. Most will spontaneous rotate in anterior position before delivery, but 5-8% of all births will persist in OP position for the third stage of labour. Previous observations have shown that this can lead to an increase of complications, such as an abnormally long labour, maternal and fetal exhaustion, instrumental delivery, severe perineal tears, and emergency caesarean section. Usual care in the case of diagnosis of OP position is an expectant management. However, maternal postural techniques have been reported to promote the anterior position of the fetal head for delivery. A Cochrane review reported that these maternal positions are well accepted by women and reduce back pain. However, the low sample size of included studies did not allow concluding on their efficacy on delivery outcomes, particularly those related to persistent OP position. Our objective is to evaluate the efficacy of maternal position in the management of OP position during the first stage of labour.Methods/design: A randomised clinical trial is ongoing in the maternity unit of the Geneva University Hospitals, Geneva, Switzerland. The unit is the largest in Switzerland with 4,000 births/year. The trial will involve 438 women with a fetus in OP position, confirmed by sonography, during the first stage of the labour. The main outcome measure is the position of the fetal head, diagnosed by ultrasound one hour after randomisation. It is important to evaluate the efficacy of maternal position to correct fetal OP position during the first stage of the labour. Although these positions seem to be well accepted by women and appear easy to implement in the delivery room, the sample size of the last randomised clinical trial published in 2005 to evaluate this intervention had insufficient power to demonstrate clear evidence of effectiveness. If the technique demonstrates efficacy, it would reduce the physical and psychological consequences of complications at birth related to persistent OP position.Trial registration: ClinicalTrials.gov, www.clinicaltrials.gov: (no. NCT01291355).BMC Pregnancy and Childbirth 02/2014; 14(1):83. · 2.52 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: This systematic review of the literature reports studies published over the last five years (2008-2013) about interventions during labor and normal delivery. The points made concerning active management of labor, interventions aimed at improving maternal comfort, management of occiput posterior fetal presentations, management of second stage of labor and prevention techniques for perineal lesions. Although obstetrics remains an "art" to which training is mainly based on experience and clinical expertise, this "art" at present cannot live without the evidence-based medicine. Numerous randomized trials published and in process, demonstrate awareness of this reality in our specialty.Journal de Gynécologie Obstétrique et Biologie de la Reproduction 01/2014; · 0.45 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Objective To determine whether the use of ultrasound can reduce the incidence of incorrect diagnosis of the fetal head position at instrumental delivery and subsequent morbidity.DesignTwo-arm, parallel, randomised trial, conducted from June 2011 to December 2012.SettingTwo maternity hospitals in the Republic of Ireland.SampleA cohort of 514 nulliparous women at term (≥37 weeks of gestation) with singleton cephalic pregnancies, aiming to deliver vaginally, were recruited prior to an induction of labour or in early labour.Methods If instrumental delivery was required, women who had provided written consent were randomised to receive clinical assessment (standard care) or ultrasound scan and ultrasound assessment (ultrasound).Main outcome measureIncorrect diagnosis of the fetal head position.ResultsThe incidence of incorrect diagnosis was significantly lower in the ultrasound group than the standard care group (4/257, 1.6%, versus 52/257, 20.2%; odds ratio 0.06; 95% confidence interval 0.02–0.19; P < 0.001). The decision to delivery interval was similar in both groups (ultrasound mean 13.8 minutes, SD 8.7 minutes, versus standard care mean 14.6 minutes, SD 10.1 minutes, P = 0.35). The incidence of maternal and neonatal complications, failed instrumental delivery, and caesarean section was not significantly different between the two groups.Conclusions An ultrasound assessment prior to instrumental delivery reduced the incidence of incorrect diagnosis of the fetal head position without delaying delivery, but did not prevent morbidity. A more integrated clinical skills-based approach is likely to be required to prevent adverse outcomes at instrumental delivery.BJOG An International Journal of Obstetrics & Gynaecology 04/2014; · 3.76 Impact Factor