In the past 10 years it appears that obsteric anal sphincter injuries (OASI) have been increasing. The RCOG in partnership with the RCM and others, have developed and upscaled a pilot intervention package, a ‘care bundle’ designed to prevent and reduce OASI. The OASI care bundle, a collection of interventions from warm compresses applied to the perineum, to medio lateral episiotomy being used when necessary, may have already been implemented in your unit.
Margaret Jowitt, steering group member, author and childbirth activist explores the evidence behind the bundle, and whether the interventions recommended may actually cause more harm than good. She argues that there is not enough evidence to support implementation of the OASI care bundle and explains why some of its recommendations could even cause injury.