Failed Induction of Labour

S. Arulkumaran, D. M F Gibb, R. L. TambyRaja, S. H. Heng, S. S. Ratnam

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

46 Citations (Scopus)


Editorial Comment: There is an important take away message in this paper–namely that 65% of nulliparas with an unfavourable cervix who had induction of labour performed by amniotomy and simultaneous oxytocic infusion came to Caesarean section, two‐thirds because of failed induction. Summary: Over a 15‐month period 1,057 consecutive inductions of labour were performed representing a 10% induction rate; 174 (16.5%) of these patients were delivered by Caesarean section of which 74 (7.0%) were for failed induction of labour, 58 (5.5%) for fetal distress, 19 (1.8%) for cephalopelvic disproportion, 6 for malposition and 17 for other reasons. The mean cervical score at induction of labour was 5.7 and 5.5 for cephalopelvic disproportion (CPD) and malposition respectively but was 4.0 for failed induction. The mean cervical dilatation at the time of Caesarean section was 5.7 cm and 6.6 cm for CPD and malposition respectively whereas it was 3.5 cm for failed induction. Mean maximum dose of oxytocin was 19.2 milliunits per minute (mu/min) and 22.5 mu/min for CPD and malposition respectively whereas it was 24.7 mu/min for cases of failed induction. Nulliparas with a cervical score of 3 or less had a 65.4% Caesarean section rate of which more than two‐thirds were for failed induction of labour. Analysis of indications for induction of labour revealed that a fair number of inductions had debatable obstetric indications. Tailoring induction of labour to the cervical score and indication might reduce the Caesarean section rate for failed induction of labour. Rational management to ensure an adequate dose of oxytocin and sufficient time in the first stage of labour is important. Failed induction of labour may be differentiated from failure of labour progress due to CPD or malposition.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)190-193
Number of pages4
JournalAustralian and New Zealand Journal of Obstetrics and Gynaecology
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 1985


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