The aim of this study was to determine the incidence and complications related to manual removal of the placenta in a regional hospital in Australia. The study was carried out at the Goulburn Valley Base Hospital in Shepparton. The hospital medical records were reviewed from 1992 to 1999. A total of 3734 singleton live vaginal deliveries took place during the 7-year study period. The placenta was removed manually in 114 women (3%). For a control group, a series of 113 women who had singleton live vaginal deliveries from the same period were chosen at random. The case and control groups were similar in age, parity, and gravidity.

A previous history of retained placenta and a history of preterm delivery in the current pregnancy were significantly related to retained placenta (OR 9.8 [95% CI 1.1–85.5] and OR 5.6 [95% CI 1.1–26.8], respectively). The cases received significantly more blood transfusions than the control group (13% versus 0%). Decreased maternal age was also significantly related to retained placenta. There were also more post-delivery dilatation and curettage (D&C) operations and diagnosis of endomyometritis in the case group. However, these differences were not statistically significant. One woman, in the case group, had to have a hysterectomy due to placenta accreta.