Objective: To examine immediate neonatal outcomes associated with elective labor induction.
Study design: Labor inductions occurring at > or = 38 weeks' gestation were examined during a 6-month period at 2 community hospitals. Medical records were reviewed by trained abstractors to determine the reason for induction (elective vs. medical) and maternal characteristics. The need for newborn resuscitation (1-minute Apgar score < 4) was the primary end point. Multiple logistic regression was used to calculate odds ratios (ORs) and 95% confidence intervals (CIs).
Results: Of the 364 inductions, 54.9% were elective. The odds of a 1-minute Apgar score being < or = 3 were significantly greater when labor was induced for elective reasons than for medical reasons (OR 5.5, 95% CI 1.1-27.9) or was spontaneous (OR 6.5, 95% CI 2.4-17.8), after controlling for mother's age, race and route of delivery. Elective induction was not associated with feal intolerance to labor, a low 5-minute Apgar score or need for admission to a special care nursery.
Conclusion: An elective abortion induction is an independent risk factor for delivery of an infant requiring immediate attention.