Precipitous birth not occurring on a labor and delivery unit
- Vanessa A Barss, MD, FACOG
Vanessa A Barss, MD, FACOG
- Senior Deputy Editor — UpToDate
- Deputy Editor — Obstetrics, Gynecology and Women's Health
- Associate Clinical Professor of Obstetrics, Gynecology and Reproductive Biology
- Harvard Medical School
- Section Editors
- Vincenzo Berghella, MD
Vincenzo Berghella, MD
- Section Editor — Obstetrics
- Director, Maternal-Fetal Medicine
- Professor, Obstetrics and Gynecology
- Thomas Jefferson University
- Allan B Wolfson, MD
Allan B Wolfson, MD
- Section Editor — Adult Procedures
- Professor of Emergency Medicine
- University of Pittsburgh
Each year, hundreds of deliveries in the United States occur precipitously in emergency departments as well as outside of the hospital setting. In most of these cases, labor and delivery results in good outcomes in the absence of physician/midwife intervention or a traditional delivery site.
This topic will review the key points for assisting women during an imminent delivery of a fetus in cephalic presentation. It is intended for health care providers who do not perform obstetrical deliveries as part of their usual practice. Related topics on labor and delivery are presented in detail elsewhere.
DEFINITION AND ETIOLOGY
The term precipitate or precipitous labor has been defined as a labor that lasts no more than three hours from onset of regular contractions to delivery . Precipitous delivery is generally thought to result from abnormally low resistance of the birth canal, abnormally strong uterine contractions, lack of awareness of painful contractions, or some combination of these .To continue reading this article, you must log in with your personal, hospital, or group practice subscription. For more information on subscription options, click below on the option that best describes you:
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- DEFINITION AND ETIOLOGY
- ASSESSMENT AND PREPARATION
- EQUIPMENT AND SUPPLIES
- Intravenous access
- Instructions to the mother
- Controlling and guiding the delivery
- Newborn care and assessment
- Clamping and cutting the umbilical cord
- Delivery of the placenta
- SOCIETY GUIDELINE LINKS
- SUMMARY AND RECOMMENDATIONS