New research findings published in the Journal of Obstetrics and Gynaecology suggest that Foley’s catheter is a safe and effective tool for cervical ripening and induction of labour in the UK setting, and can be utilised in the outpatient and previous caesarean section groups.
Researchers conducted a prospective study to assess the use of Foley’s catheter for induction of labour at a single hospital in the UK. The study included 99 women (72 multiparous), and the insertion procedure was primarily performed by midwives.
The median duration from induction to delivery was 28.3 (interquartile range, 19.7-34) hours. The rates for normal vaginal delivery, instrumental delivery and caesarean section were 63.6 per cent, 16.3 per cent and 20.2 per cent, respectively. There were no other complications after insertion of the catheter, except a small bleed in one patient. The rates of maternal and neonatal complications were low. Moreover, 88.9 per cent of women said they would give a favourable opinion to a friend about it and 92.6 per cent were ready to accept it as an induction method again. None of the midwives reported any difficulties with the insertion procedure.
The authors commented: "Although we have robust institutional guidelines and accumulated substantive experience with Foley’s over the last 3 years, staff training and patient counselling are key to our ongoing success and safety with this technique.”