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Alix Boyle: Hi, this is Alix Boyle, reporting for OBGYN.net. I am here at the SMFM meeting in San Francisco and today we are speaking with Dr. Chris Pettker from Yale University. Tell us about your research.
Christian Pettker, MD: I studied with my colleagues induction of labor. Induction is a significant problem through pregnancies and to people who care for people in pregnancy. We induce about 20% of pregnancies in the United States, so we are constantly looking for methods that will make it easier and safer to induce a woman to get her into labor. We looked at a technique that uses a Foley balloon, a balloon in the cervix to help soften and dilate the cervix. It is very common that doctors add Oxytocin to this method in order to stimulate contractions and perhaps make inductions faster. There is no evidence to support the use of Oxytocin with this technique, so we looked and we compared women who had the Foley balloon with Oxytocin to women who did not have Oxytocin.
Alix Boyle: What were your results?
Christian Pettker, MD: We found out that overall patients who used the Oxytocin with the Foley balloon did not deliver any sooner or have a lower incidence of Caesarian section than the patients who did not have Oxytocin when we used the Foley balloon technique. So it really says that we should not advocate for Oxytocin use when we use the balloon technique for induction.
Alix Boyle: What was the risk of Oxytocin?
Christian Pettker, MD: We actually found that patients when we were inducing them early in labor and we used the Oxytocin, the patients used epidurals a lot more early in labor and the difference was really significant and that hit us that maybe patients were more uncomfortable with the Oxytocin use early in labor. If there is no difference between using Oxytocin with the Foley balloon in successive induction, then there is the risk of increased use of anesthesia, like epidurals, then that is probably not a good thing for us to use.
Alix Boyle: Okay. Sounds like a really interesting study.
Christian Pettker, MD: Thank you.
Alix Boyle: That was Dr. Chris Pettker from Yale University.