California Birth Delivery Injury Study

National Institute Health, Mar 29, 2007

Vacuum extraction and obstetric forceps are operative procedures used during complicated vaginal deliveries. They are indicated for cord prolapse, a non-reassuring fetal heart rate, prolonged second stage labour, intrapartum haemorrhage, exhaustion, and heart disease, pulmonary injury, and certain neurological conditions in the mother. The use of vacuum extraction relative to forceps has increased in the United States, accounting for 68% of all operative vaginal deliveries in 2000—an increase from 41% in 1990.3 This increase, however, has been accompanied by reports to the US Food and Drug Administration of fetal deaths and serious injuries.

The California study was restricted to singleton live born infants to nulliparous women; both forceps and vacuum extraction were associated with an increased risk of intracranial haemorrhage.

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