Objective: to assess the acceptability of the Uniject prefilled injection device for delivery of oxytocin in the third stage of labour, and the effect of the device on overall willingness to perform active management of the third stage of labour (AMTSL).
Design: descriptive study that used baseline and post-intervention questionnaires.
Setting: three districts in northern Vietnam. The study population consisted of 52 midwives from two districts where AMTSL was already practiced, and 35 midwives from a district where AMTSL was introduced as part of the study.
Measurements and findings: the majority of midwives reported that the Uniject device was easier to use and preferable compared with ampoules and standard syringes. They found the training materials easy to understand.
Key conclusions: the use of a prefilled injection device overcame many of the barriers cited by midwives with regard to the use of oxytocin in ampoules, such as trying to break ampoules and fill syringes in a hurry. This device enabled midwives to deliver the correct dose of oxytocin in the third stage of labour in a safe and timely way, while attending to the other needs of the mother and her newborn baby.
Implications for practice: use of a prefilled injection device for oxytocin may increase the acceptability and practice of AMTSL in primary level facilities, thus reducing maternal mortality due to postpartum haemorrhage.