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Elective Induction of Labor: Waking the Sleeping Dogma?

George A. Macones, MD, MSCE
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From Washington University in St. Louis School of Medicine, St. Louis, MO 63110.

Potential Financial Conflicts of Interest: Dr. Macones has served on the Expert Advisory Committee for the Stanford–University of California, San Francisco, Evidence-based Practice Center from 2007 to present (unpaid).

Requests for Single Reprints: George A. Macones, MD, MSCE, Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Washington University in St. Louis School of Medicine, 6th Floor, Maternity Building, 4911 Barnes Jewish Hospital Plaza, St. Louis, MO 63110; e-mail, maconesg@wustl.edu.

Ann Intern Med. 2009;151(4):281-282. doi:10.7326/0003-4819-151-4-200908180-00012
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In this issue, Caughey and colleagues (1) present the results of a systematic review conducted by the Stanford–University of California, San Francisco, Evidence-based Practice Center on the effect of elective induction of labor on cesarean birth rates and relevant maternal and neonatal outcomes. Although many labor inductions are performed for maternal (such as preeclampsia) or fetal (such as poor fetal growth) indications, an increasing number of inductions are elective. Elective inductions are generally performed for the convenience of the patient or family, provider, or both. The number of inductions overall is increasing, as is the number of elective inductions. Thus policymakers, providers, and patients need information on the effect of this practice on health outcomes.

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