Bladder scanning in maternity care: a scoping review

Lovell, Belinda, Steen, Mary, and Esterman, Adrian (2017) Bladder scanning in maternity care: a scoping review. Evidence Based Midwifery, 15 (2). pp. 60-70.

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Background: The accuracy of bladder scanning appears to be inconclusive, particularly during the childbirth continuum (pregnancy, labour and post birth). Some authors recommend using the bladder scanner in maternity care while others do not. Being catheterised increases the risk of urethral trauma, discomfort, urinary tract infection and negative psychological effects related to this invasive procedure. Some women may be catheterised unnecessarily and adopting the use of bladder scanners may reduce these risks and enable the midwife to use a less invasive measure to facilitate clinical decisions. The aim of this scoping review is to identify research studies previously conducted to investigate the accuracy of bladder scanning during the childbirth continuum and to report the findings.

Method: The scoping review was guided by the framework of Arksey and O’Malley (2005). Electronic databases and reference lists were searched to identify published articles. The information was collated into a table to summarise the findings.

Results: A total of 10 research articles and one poster presentation were found which incorporated testing the accuracy of bladder scanning on women during labour or post birth. Three studies were unable to demonstrate accurate measurements using a bladder scanner and eight studies concluded that bladder scanners are accurate post birth and one in labour (if the membranes are not intact). The Bladderscan®BVI 3000 was used in 10 of the studies and the Bladderscan®BVI 6100 in one study. There were no studies that involved non-labouring pregnant women.

Conclusion: Eight out of 11 studies concluded that bladder scanners are accurate when used in maternity care. Despite these conclusions, there are many factors that can contribute to the inaccuracy of the device, especially during pregnancy and post birth. Further research is required to test current bladder scanners for use in maternity care.

Item ID: 53127
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 1479-4489
Keywords: bladder; urinary retention; women; childbirth; postnatal urinary retention; catheterisation; bladder scanner; evidence-based midwifery
Date Deposited: 12 Apr 2018 23:26
FoR Codes: 32 BIOMEDICAL AND CLINICAL SCIENCES > 3202 Clinical sciences > 320206 Diagnostic radiography @ 80%
32 BIOMEDICAL AND CLINICAL SCIENCES > 3215 Reproductive medicine > 321502 Obstetrics and gynaecology @ 20%
SEO Codes: 92 HEALTH > 9205 Specific Population Health (excl. Indigenous Health) > 920507 Womens Health @ 20%
92 HEALTH > 9201 Clinical Health (Organs, Diseases and Abnormal Conditions) > 920199 Clinical Health (Organs, Diseases and Abnormal Conditions) not elsewhere classified @ 80%
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