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Does Route Matter? Intravenous Versus Intramuscular Oxytocin for the Prevention of Postpartum Hemorrhage

While oxytocin is considered a safe and effective medicine for postpartum hemorrhage (PPH) prevention and is widely recommended, there is limited information about the impact the different routes of administration may have on postpartum blood loss. Indeed, much of the literature and guidelines on PPH prevention simply presume that routes of oxytocin administration perform similarly. This one-page document summarizes the findings from a series of randomized controlled trials conducted among women with vaginal births in tertiary-level hospitals to compare the effect on postpartum blood loss of the most common routes of oxytocin administration: intravenous infusion (IV), IV bolus, and intramuscular (IM) injection of 10 IU oxytocin.

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