Objective: To integrate intermittent fetal pulse oximetry (FPO) to intrapartum fetal assessment and reduce the rate of caesarean sections.
Methods: A randomised controlled trial using 37 weeks as a restriction point was conducted in 230 women induced with misoprostol. One hundred-fourteen were assessed with intermittent FPO plus fetal heart rate (FHR) monitoring (study group) and 116 were assessed with FHR monitoring alone (control group). The primary outcome measure was caesarean delivery rates. Secondary outcome measures included induction to delivery interval, number of emergency caesarean deliveries performed for fetal non-reassuring FHR patterns and neonatal outcomes.
Results: There was a reduction both in the overall caesarean deliveries (study n = 18, (15.7%); vs. control n = 31 (26.7%); p = 0.04), and the rate of caesarean deliveries performed for non-reassuring fetal status in the study group (study n = 11, (9.6%); vs. control n = 23 (19.8%); p = 0.03). Induction to delivery interval was similar in between the groups (759 +/- 481 min in group 1; vs. 735 +/- 453 min in group 2 respectively; p = 0.69).
Conclusion: Intermittent FPO in misoprostol induced deliveries decreases both total caesarean rate and the caesarean rate due to non-reassuring FHR patterns.