|Preventing Prolonged Labour II (WHO - OMS, 1994, 42 p.)|
This manual describes the use of the partograph as a tool to help in the management of labour. A partograph is used to record all observations made on a woman in labour. Its central feature is a graph, where dilatation of the cervix as assessed by vaginal examination is plotted. By noting the rate at which the cervix dilates, it is possible to identify women whose labours are abnormally slow and who require special attention. These women are at risk of developing prolonged and obstructed labour due to cephalopelvic disproportion (CPD), which may lead to serious problems, such as ruptured uterus and death of the fetus. Other problems that may result from slow progress in labour include postpartum haemorrhage and infection.
By helping to identify at an early stage those women whose labour is slow, the partograph should prevent some of these problems. It is also a very clear way of recording all labour observations on one chart, making it easy to detect any other abnormalities.