Practice patterns during the third stage of labor: the effect of physician age and specialty.
The Journal of family practice
BACKGROUND: Elective manual removal of the placenta and routine uterine exploration following vaginal delivery are controversial procedures. Although advocated in the past, little is known about current attitudes and practices related to these procedures.
METHODS: Using a mailed questionnaire, we surveyed all 178 Iowa obstetrician-gynecologists and a random sample of 163 Iowa family physicians to determine their practice patterns related to selected aspects of the third stage of labor. The data were analyzed using odds ratios and multiple logistic regression.
RESULTS: The analysis was based on answers from 302 physicians. Physicians in the oldest age quartile were three times more likely than physicians in the youngest age quartile to routinely explore the uterus after a vaginal delivery (P < .01). After controlling for specialty, younger physicians were more likely to believe that manual removal of the placenta is a risk factor for endometritis (adjusted odds ratio [OR] 0.7 for each 10-year increase in age, 95% confidence interval [CI] 0.6 to 1.0). Controlling for age, family physicians were more likely than obstetrician-gynecologists to routinely order prophylactic antibiotics after manually removing the placenta (adjusted OR 2.0, 95% CI 1.1 to 3.7).
CONCLUSIONS: Both physician age and specialty were associated with selected practice patterns involving the third stage of labor. Older physicians were less likely to believe that manually removing a placenta increases the risk of postpartum endometritis, and they were more likely to routinely explore the uterus after a vaginal delivery.
Adult, Age Factors, Aged, Aged, 80 and over, Anti-Bacterial Agents, Endometritis, Family Practice, Female, Gynecology, Humans, Iowa, Labor, Obstetric, Male, Middle Aged, Obstetrics, Physical Examination, Physician's Practice Patterns, Placenta, Pregnancy, Puerperal Disorders, Risk Factors, Uterus
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