Speaker: Belinda Bruce
Background: Midwives are integral to providing safe and supportive care to women in labour. One clinical intervention commonly performed by midwives is the administration of intravenous (IV) fluids. At present, there is a limited amount of robust evidence available to guide practice. To define and ensure safe IV fluid practices, research into practices surrounding the administration of IV fluids to women in labour is essential. Methods: A retrospective chart review and audit of fluid balance documentation for 107 primiparous women was conducted at a single Australian tertiary referral hospital. Secondly, qualitative semi-structured interviews of 11 Australian registered midwives were conducted to further explore midwifery behaviour and practice. Summary of findings: This study found a wide variation in clinical practice and incomplete fluid balance documentation at a single, metropolitan tertiary referral hospital. Six major themes were identified in analysis of the interviews. These included foundational knowledge and perception of risk.