BMC pregnancy and childbirth 2017 09 0817(1) 298 doi 10.1186/s12884-017-1483-5
Oral misoprostol as an induction of labour (IOL) agent is rapidly gaining popularity in resource-limited settings because it is cheap, stable at ambient temperatures, and logistically easier to administer compared to dinoprostone and oxytocin. We aim to investigate the safety and effectiveness of a regimen of oral misoprostol in Papua New Guinean women undergoing IOL.
As part of a prospective dose escalation study conducted at Modilon Hospital in Papua New Guinea, women with a singleton pregnancy in cephalic presentation and an unfavourable cervix who gave written informed consent were administered oral misoprostol, commencing at 25mcg once every 2 h for 4 doses and increased to 50mcg once every 2 h for 8 doses within 24 h. The primary outcomes studied were i) the proportion of women delivering within 24 h of oral misoprostol administration, and ii) rates of maternal and perinatal severe adverse events.
Of 6167 labour ward screened admissions, 209 women (3%) fulfilled the study inclusion criteria and underwent IOL. Overall, 74% (155/209 [95% confidence interval 67.6-79.9]) delivered within 24 h. Most women (90%; 188/209; 95% CI [84.9-93.5]) delivered vaginally with 86% (180/209) having a good outcome for both the mother and baby. Of the 10% (21/209) who failed IOL and underwent caesarean section, a significant proportion of their babies were admitted to special-care nursery compared to babies delivered vaginally (20/21 [95%] versus 8/188 [4%]; Fisher Exact test P < 0.001), but their perinatal mortality rate was not significantly higher (1/21 [5%] versus 2/188 [1%]; P = 0.30). The only maternal death was not study related and occurred in a patient with post-partum haemorrhage, 15 h post-delivery. CONCLUSION
The oral misoprostol regimen for IOL described in the present study is safe, effective and logistically feasible to administer in a resource-limited setting.