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October 19, 1940


JAMA. 1940;115(16):1318-1320. doi:10.1001/jama.1940.02810420004002

I do not favor the use of solution of posterior pituitary during early labor.

Even my opponents admit that large doses at improper times may cause rupture of the uterus. They claim, however, that small doses given when there is no obstruction to hinder fetal advancement are safe and that still smaller doses can be used during the first stage of labor without any harm whatever.

In any labor, regardless of the size of the pelvis, size of the fetus, dilatation of the cervix or station of the presenting part, who can foretell an unobstructed labor? Who can foretell minor, yet serious, abnormal constriction rings, extensions of the fetal head and other fetal disproportions?

Solution of posterior pituitary has a short, powerful contractive action on all smooth muscle. Patients in the preeclamptic states often show small petechial hemorrhages in the muscular coat of arterioles. Is it good mechanics to stimulate

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