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Labour pain treated with cutaneous injections of sterile water: a randomised controlled trial
University of Skövde, School of Life Sciences.
University of Skövde, School of Life Sciences.
1999 (English)In: British Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology, ISSN 1470-0328, E-ISSN 1471-0528, Vol. 106, no 7, 633-637 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Objective To evaluate the relief of pain in labour with subcutaneous and intracutaneous injections of sterile water, compared with placebo.

Design Randomised controlled trial.

Setting Labour ward with approximately 3000 deliveries annually in a suburban area near Gothenburg, Sweden.

Participants Ninety-nine pregnant women at term, requiring pain relief for severe lower back pain during the first stage of labour. The women were randomised to receive four injections of 0.1 mL sterile water (without salt) intracutaneously ( n= 33 ), four injections of 0.5 mL sterile water subcutaneously ( n= 33 ) or placebo treatment ( n= 33 ).

Main outcome measures Reduction of labour pain measured by visual analogue scale.

Results The median visual analogue scale pain score for labour pain was significantly lower compared with initial values in the two study groups and compared with placebo at 10 and 45 minutes after treatment. The median reductions in visual analogue scores after 10 minutes were 5.0 cm and 4.5 cm in the intracutaneous and subcutaneous injection groups, respectively; women in the placebo group scored a median reduction of 1.7 cm. After 45 minutes the median reductions in the visual analogue scores were 4.9 cm and 4.0 cm in the intracutaneous and subcutaneous injection groups, respectively, compared with 1.0 cm for women in the placebo group. No significant differences in analgesic effect or pain experienced during administration were found between the two study groups.

Conclusion The new subcutaneous method of administering sterile water, as well as the earlier described intracutaneous injection method, were effective for the relief of pain in labour.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Wiley-Blackwell, 1999. Vol. 106, no 7, 633-637 p.
National Category
Obstetrics, Gynecology and Reproductive Medicine
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:his:diva-2567DOI: 10.1111/j.1471-0528.1999.tb08359.xISI: 000081320500004PubMedID: 10428516Scopus ID: 2-s2.0-0033011219OAI: oai:DiVA.org:his-2567DiVA: diva2:134512
Available from: 2009-01-21 Created: 2009-01-21 Last updated: 2013-01-28
In thesis
1. Sterile water injections and acupuncture as treatment for labour pain
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Sterile water injections and acupuncture as treatment for labour pain
2006 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

Most women experience pain during labour. Complementary pain relief methods such as sterile water injections and acupuncture are two alternatives for the child birthing women. The lack of knowledge about the use of these methods in clinical practice creates the need to develop and evaluate them.

Aims and methods: To elucidate whether the new subcutaneous method of administering sterile water, as well as the previously described intracutaneous injection method, were effective for the relief of labour pain. Ninety-nine women in labour were randomized to either intracutaneous- , subcutaneous injections of sterile water or to placebo (Paper I). To investigate if there was any difference in perceived pain between the intracutaneous and subcutaneous techniques during injection of sterile water. One hundred female volunteers were given injections with both techniques in a cross-over trial (Paper II). To elucidate the clinical use of acupuncture and sterile water injections as pain relief and relaxation during childbirth in Swedish delivery wards. Five hundred and sixty-five midwives answered a questionnaire about their use of these methods (Paper III). To elucidate if there were any differences between acupuncture and sterile water injections in terms of pain relief and relaxation during labour. One hundred and twenty-eight pregnant women in childbirth were randomized to either sterile water injections or acupuncture (Paper IV).

Results: Paper I: VAS pain scores were significantly lower in both treatment groups 10 minutes (p=0.001) and 45 minutes (p=0.005) after treatment, compared with the placebo group. Paper II: subcutaneous injections were still perceived as less painful than intracutaneous injections after trial, day and injection location were taken into consideration (p<0.001). Paper III: the midwives’ estimated frequency of administration of acupuncture was much higher than that of sterile water injections, 25 % versus 2 %. The intracutaneous injection technique was more common in clinical practice than the subcutaneous technique. Sterile water injections were used exclusively for pain relief during labour while acupuncture was used for both pain relief and relaxation during labour. Paper IV: women given sterile water injections experience significantly less labour pain and a higher degree of relaxation in labour, compared to women given acupuncture (p<0.001).

Conclusions: The results indicate that the subcutaneous injection technique is preferable when using sterile water injections for low back pain during labour. Sterile water injections seem to provide more pain relief and a higher degree of relaxation, compared to acupuncture. However, acupuncture is a more common pain relief method in clinical practice.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Göteborgs universitet, 2006. 66 p.
Keyword
Labour pain, pain relief, sterile water injections, acupuncture, survey
National Category
Obstetrics, Gynecology and Reproductive Medicine
Research subject
Medical sciences
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:his:diva-1881 (URN)91-628-6904-3 (ISBN)
Public defence
(English)
Available from: 2008-01-08 Created: 2008-01-08 Last updated: 2013-11-20Bibliographically approved

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