Amnioinfusion: A Review

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Amnioinfusion is a commonly practiced technique used for intrapartum improvement of the fetal condition. Room temperature normal saline (0.9 per cent) infused through an intrauterine pressure catheter has been used to alleviate variable decelerations, dilute thick meconium, and improve the intrauterine environment. Randomized studies comparing amnioinfusion to no therapy have shown that amnioinfusion is associated with lower cesarean delivery rates, decreased numbers of operative deliveries, and improved umbilical artery and venous blood gas values. Amnioinfusion also has been suggested as means to instill antibiotics into an infected uterine cavity, or the uterine cavity of a woman with preterm premature rupture of the membranes. Transabdominal amnioinfusion may be used to improved prenatal ultrasound evaluation in pregnancies associated with oligohydramnios. Complications of amnioinfusion include umbilical cord prolapse, uterine overdistention, fetal bradycardia, and one report of possible amniotic fluid embolism. Overall, amnioinfusion seems to be a safe and effective technique to improve the intrauterine milieu.

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