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obstructed labour


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Failure of the presenting part to descend in spite of uterine contractions, which implies a mechanical cause. Obstruction is usually due to (1) an abnormality in the woman’s pelvis (a contracted pelvis); (2) an abnormality in her baby (e.g. hydrocephaly); or (3) an abnormality in the relationship between them, either(a) an abnormal lie (e.g. transverse) or malpresentation, or (b) cephalopelvic disproportion (CPD). CPD and impacted transverse lie are the most important causes. Much of the purpose of antenatal care is to screen mothers who are at risk from obstructed labour, which can be detected early by means of a partogram. If undetected, it can lead to rupture of the uterus, death of the fetus, obstetric fistulae, or maternal death.

(1) an abnormality in the woman’s pelvis (a contracted pelvis); (2) an abnormality in her baby (e.g. hydrocephaly); or (3) an abnormality in the relationship between them, either(a) an abnormal lie (e.g. transverse) or malpresentation, or (b) cephalopelvic disproportion (CPD).

(a) an abnormal lie (e.g. transverse) or malpresentation, or (b) cephalopelvic disproportion (CPD).

Subjects: Medicine and Health.


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