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What are the nursing considerations when administering oxytocin?

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robo 6 Sep 2009

You will find information on the dosage and administration of oxytocin at

Oxytocin Dosage and Administration

Parenteral drug products should be inspected visually for particulate matter and discoloration prior to administration, whenever solution and container permit.

Dosage of Oxytocin is determined by the uterine response. The following dosage information is based upon various regimens and indications in general use.

A. Induction or Stimulation of Labor

Intravenous infusion (drip method) is the only acceptable method of administration for the induction or stimulation of labor.

Accurate control of the rate of infusion flow is essential. An infusion pump or other such device and frequent monitoring of strength of contractions and fetal heart rate are necessary for the safe administration of Oxytocin for the induction or stimulation of labor. If uterine contractions become too powerful, the infusion can be abruptly stopped, and oxytocic stimulation of the uterine musculature will soon wane.

1. An intravenous infusion of nonOxytocin-containing solution should be started. Physiologic electrolyte solution should be used except under unusual circumstances.
2. To prepare the usual solution for infusion, 1-mL Oxytocin Injection, 10 USP Units/mL is combined aseptically with 1,000 mL of nonhydrating diluent (physiologic electrolyte solution). The combined solution, rotated in the infusion bottle to ensure thorough mixing, containing 10 mU/mL. Add the container with dilute oxytocic solution to the system through use of a constant infusion pump or other such device, to control accurately the rate of infusion.
3. The initial dose should be no more than 1 to 2 mU/min. the dose may be gradually increased in increments of no more than 1 to 2 mU/min. until a contraction pattern has been established which is similar to normal labor.
4. The fetal heart rate, resting uterine tone, and the frequency, duration, and the force of contractions should be monitored.
5. The Oxytocin infusion should be discontinued immediately in the event of uterine hyperactivity or fetal distress. Oxygen should be administered to the mother. The mother and the fetus must be evaluated by the responsible physician.

B. Control of Postpartum Uterine Bleeding

1. Intravenous Infusion (Drip Method):

To control postpartum bleeding, 10 to 40 units of Oxytocin may be added to 1,000 mL of a nonhydrating diluent (physiologic electrolyte solution) and run a rate necessary to control uterine atony.
2. Intramuscular Administration:

1 mL (10 units) of Oxytocin can be given after the delivery of the placenta.

C. Treatment of Incomplete or Inevitable Abortion

Intravenous infusion with physiologic saline solution, 500 mL, or 5% dextrose in physiologic saline solution to which 10 units of Oxytocin have been added should be infused at a rate of 20 to 40 drops per minutes.

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