SAMJ: South African Medical Journal
On-line version ISSN 2078-5135
FARINA, Z and FAWCUS, S. Oxytocin - ensuring appropriate use and balancing efficacy with safety. SAMJ, S. Afr. med. j. [online]. 2015, vol.105, n.4, pp. 271-273. ISSN 2078-5135. http://dx.doi.org/10.7196/SAMJ.9179.
Maternal deaths due to haemorrhage continue to increase in South Africa (SA). It appears that oxytocin and other uterotonics are not being used optimally, even though they are an essential part of managing maternal haemorrhage. Oxytocin should be administered to every mother delivering in SA. Awareness is required of the side-effects that can occur and the appropriate measures to avoid harm from these. Second-line uterotonics should also be available and utilised in conjunction with mechanical and surgical means to arrest haemorrhage in women who continue to bleed after the appropriate administration of oxytocin.