Oxytocin Administration and the Prevention of Postpartum Hemorrhage
Postpartum hemorrhage (PPH) is a large issue in the world of labor and delivery, the rates of PPH are getting worse as time goes on. Oxytocin is a widely used and very effective medication used to prevent PPH during the third stage of labor. This is an extensive literature review of evidence based research on the subject of PPH and oxytocin administration. This study aims to determine if oxytocin is an effective prophylactic medication, compare oxytocin to other uterotonic options and evaluate the most effective route of administration. For the purpose of this study, PPH is defined as >500mL of blood loss, and severe PPH is >1000mL of blood loss within the first 24 hours after delivery. To conduct the literature review, a variety of online research platforms were used. Key words and phrases that were used included "oxytocin and postpartum hemorrhage", "postpartum hemorrhage prevention", and "intravenous versus intramuscular oxytocin". The resulting studies were then evaluated and compared to find the most reliable research. The results showed that oxytocin is effective in preventing PPH >500mL and may be effective in preventing severe PPH of >1000mL. Along with that, intravenous was found to be the most effective route of administration.