Using Uniject to increase the use of prophylactic oxytocin for management of the third stage of labor in Latin America

Int J Gynaecol Obstet. 2011 Aug;114(2):184-9. doi: 10.1016/j.ijgo.2011.05.003. Epub 2011 Jun 21.


Objective: To evaluate a multifaceted intervention for effectiveness in increasing the use of prophylactic oxytocin by birth attendants (obstetricians, midwives, and nurses) working in small maternity hospitals in Argentina.

Methods: A before-and-after quasi-experimental study was conducted in 5 small maternity hospitals. The study intervention consisted of training birth attendants in the active management of the third stage of labor, distributing oxytocin in Uniject (Hipofisina BIOL Uniject; Laboratorios BIOL, Buenos Aires, Argentina), and using posters as reminders. The primary outcome was the rate of prophylactic oxytocin use in the 6 months before and the 6 months of the intervention period. Secondary outcomes included use of controlled cord traction and uterine massage, and birth attendants' acceptance of the use of oxytocin in Uniject.

Results: The use of prophylactic oxytocin showed a median rate of 14.6% at baseline and 85.6% during the intervention period. 96% of birth attendants reported that the Uniject device facilitated oxytocin 1 administration.

Discussion: Prophylactic oxytocin in the third stage of labor is a beneficial intervention with current low use, particularly in low- and middle-income countries. If the results shown in the present study were further replicated, this strategy could be an effective method for improving prophylactic oxytocin use in other similar Latin American hospitals.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Multicenter Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Argentina
  • Female
  • Hospitals, Maternity
  • Humans
  • Injections / instrumentation
  • Labor Stage, Third*
  • Midwifery / education
  • Oxytocin / administration & dosage*
  • Postpartum Hemorrhage / prevention & control*
  • Pregnancy
  • Young Adult


  • Oxytocin