Different Rates of Prolonged First-Stage Labor in Primiparas at Two Hospitals


  • This research was supported by the Quebec Ministry of Social Affairs and by the Faculty of Graduate Studies and Research of McGill University. While conducting this research Dr. Thomson was given personal support by the National Health Research Development Program of Canada and by Fonds de la Research en Sante de Quebec.

Requests for reprints should be addressed to Dr. Molly Thomson, Manager of Research Projects, Ministry of Health, 1515 Blanshard Street, Victoria, B.C., Canada V8W 3C8 (604–387–2161).


ABSTRACT: In a study of difficult labor in primiparas at two Montreal hospitals, prolonged first stage labor was significantly less frequent at a community hospital (8%) than at a high risk referral hospital (14%), even though only women admitted for uncomplicated spontaneous labor were included. Prolonged labor was defined as longer than 15 hours from admission to full dilatation of the cervix. More labors were stimulated with oxytocin at the high risk referral hospital (61%) than at the community hospital (34%), meaning that frequent stimulation did not prevent prolonged labor. Common factors may lead both to the need for stimulation and to prolonged labor.