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November 1984

Oxytocin and Neonatal Hyperbilirubinemia: Studies of Bilirubin Production

Author Affiliations

From the Departments of Pediatrics, University of New Mexico School of Medicine, Albuquerque (Dr Johnson and Mss Aldrich and Angelus); Stanford University School of Medicine, Palo Alto, Calif (Drs Stevenson and Smith); and the Department of Pediatrics, Tufts University School of Medicine and St Margaret's Hospital for Women, Boston (Drs Herschel, Papagaroufalis, and Valaes).

Am J Dis Child. 1984;138(11):1047-1050. doi:10.1001/archpedi.1984.02140490047011

• We studied the effect of oxytocin induction or augmentation of labor on rates of bilirubin production in new-borns at three different institutions. Bilirubin production, assessed quantitatively by the pulmonary excretion rate of carbon monoxide or qualitatively by the blood carboxyhemoglobin concentration, was not elevated when compared with appropriately matched control groups. Previous studies have implicated administration of large volumes of electrolyte-free dextrose solutions together with oxytocin as an important factor contributing to hemolysis in the infant. The mothers in our studies received minimal amounts of free water. We conclude that oxytocin induction or augmentation of labor does not result in neonatal hemolysis and subsequent hyperbilirubinemia when it is administered without large volumes of sodium-free intravenous solutions.

(AJDC 1984;138:1047-1050)