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Effect of locally tailored labour management guidelines on intrahospital stillbirths and birth asphyxia at the referral hospital of Zanzibar: a quasi-experimental pre-post study (The PartoMa study)

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N. Maaløe, N. Housseine, T. Meguid, B. B. Nielsen, A. K. G. Jensen, R. S. Khamis, A. G. Mohamed, M. M. Ali, S. M. Said, J. van Roosmalen, I. C. Bygbjerg

Objective: To evaluate effect of locally tailored labour management guidelines (PartoMa guidelines) on intrahospital stillbirths and birth asphyxia.

Design: Quasi-experimental pre-post study investigating the causal pathway through changes in clinical practice.

Setting: Tanzanian low-resource referral hospital, Mnazi Mmoja Hospital.Population: Facility deliveries during baseline (1 October 2014 until 31 January 2015) and the 9th to 12th intervention month (1 October 2014 until 31 January 2015).

Methods: Birth outcome was extracted from all cases of labouring women during baseline (n = 3690) and intervention months (n = 3087). Background characteristics and quality of care were assessed in quasi-randomly selected subgroups (n = 283 and n = 264, respectively).

Main outcome measures: Stillbirths and neonates with 5-minute Apgar score ≤5.Results: Stillbirth rate fell from 59 to 39 per 1000 total births (RR 0.66, 95% CI 0.53–0.82), and subanalyses suggest that this was primarily due to reduction in intrahospital stillbirths. Apgar scores between 1 and 5 fell from 52 to 28 per 1000 live births (RR 0.53, 95% CI 0.41–0.69). Median time from last fetal heart assessment till delivery (or fetal death diagnosis) fell from 120 minutes (IQR 60–240) to 74 minutes (IQR 30-130) (Mann–Whitney test for difference, P < 0.01). Oxytocin augmentation declined from 22% to 12% (RR 0.54, 95% CI 0.37–0.81) and timely use improved.

Conclusion: Although low human resources and substandard care remain major challenges, PartoMa guidelines were associated with improvements in care, leading to reductions in stillbirths and birth asphyxia. Findings furthermore emphasise the central role of improved fetal surveillance and restricted intrapartum oxytocin use in safety at birth.

Original languageEnglish
JournalB J O G
Volume125
Issue number2
Pages (from-to)235–245
Number of pages11
ISSN1470-0328
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2018

ID: 188115325