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October 14, 1939

Current Comment

JAMA. 1939;113(16):1497. doi:10.1001/jama.1939.02800410047016

PITUITARY EXTRACT AND LABOR  Although the use of pituitary extract after delivery and in some instances during the final stage of labor has become almost a routine procedure, the questions relating to its indications or possible harmfulness have not yet been settled. Recent reports serve to reopen this important problem. Williams1 studied fifty normal primiparas given solution of posterior pituitary immediately after the birth of the child and fifty controls treated in exactly the same manner except for the pituitary. Curiously the incidence of postpartum hemorrhage was more than doubled in the pituitary extract series, although the number of patients was too small to warrant definite conclusions on the etiologic role of the drug. There was an average reduction of about five minutes in duration of the third stage of labor for the pituitary group. One contraction ring was encountered, but whether this was due to uterine manipulations or