Risk factors for a serious adverse outcome in neonates: a retrospective cohort study of vaginal births.

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Jindal, S 
Steer, PJ 
Savvidou, M 
Draycott, T 
Dixon-Woods, M 

OBJECTIVE: To investigate the hypothesis that risk factors in addition to an abnormal fetal heart rate pattern (aFHRp) are independently associated with adverse neonatal outcomes of labour. DESIGN: Observational prospective cohort study. SETTING: 17 UK maternity units. SAMPLE: 585 291 pregnancies between 1988 and 2000 inclusive. METHODS: Adjusted odds ratios (OR) with 95% confidence intervals (95% CI) were estimated from multivariable logistic regression. MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: Adverse neonatal outcome at term (5-minute Apgar score <7, and a composite measure comprising 5-minute Apgar score <7, resuscitation by intubation and/or perinatal death). RESULTS: Analysis was based on 302 137 vaginal births at 37-42 weeks inclusive. We found a higher odds of Apgar score at 5 minutes <7 with suspected fetal growth restriction (OR 1.34, 95% CI 1.16-1.53), induction of labour (OR 1.41, 95% CI 1.25-1.58), nulliparity (OR 1.48, 95% CI 1.34-1.63), booking body mass index ≥30 (OR 1.18, 95% CI 1.02-1.37), maternal age <25 (OR 1.23, 95% CI 1.10-1.39), black ethnicity (OR 1.21, 95% CI 1.03-1.43), early-term birth at 37-38 weeks (OR 1.13, 95% CI 1.02-1.25), late-term birth at 41-42 weeks (OR 1.14, 95% CI 1.01-1.28), use of oxytocin (OR 1.27, 95% CI 1.14-1.41), maternal pyrexia (OR 1.87, 95% CI 1.46-2.40), aFHRp and presence of meconium (aFHRp without meconium: OR 2.40, 95% CI 2.15-2.69; meconium without aFHRp: OR 2.20, 195% CI.94-2.49; both aFHRp and meconium: OR 4.26, 95% CI 3.74-4.87). The results were similar when the composite adverse outcome was considered. CONCLUSIONS: A range of risk factors, including suspicion of fetal growth restriction, maternal pyrexia and presence of meconium, are implicated in poor birth outcomes in addition to aFHRp. Interpretation of the fetal heart rate pattern alone is insufficient as a basis for decisions about escalation and intervention.


Funder: Heaalth Foundation grant

fetal deterioration, intrapartum fetal monitoring, labour outcome, meconium, pyrexia, risk factors
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Department of Health (via National Institute for Health Research (NIHR)) (NF-SI-0617-10026)
British Heart Foundation (RG/18/13/33946)
National Institute for Health and Care Research (IS-BRC-1215-20014)
British Heart Foundation (None)
Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EP/P020259/1)
British Heart Foundation (CH/12/2/29428)