Instrumental vaginal delivery

Vikram Sinai Talaulikar, Sabaratnam Arulkumaran

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review


Definition: Use of obstetric forceps or ventouse (vacuum) to expedite vaginal delivery of a fetus.

Types: Either of the two instruments, forceps or ventouse, may be chosen for the delivery. The procedures are classiied as (1) midcavity, (2) low and (3) outlet (Table 14.1) [1].

Incidence: Between 5 and 15% of all vaginal deliveries are assisted by an instrument. Incidence varies depending on population, institution and individuals performing the procedure. In modern obstetrics, use of ventouse has gained popularity as it can be performed with less profound anaesthesia and is associated with lower risk of maternal trauma.

Caesarean section rates are on the rise and this may be partly due to lack of appropriate training and experience in instrumental deliveries as well as medico-legal issues. Since caesarean section performed in the second stage of labour is associated with increased maternal morbidity, an appropriately performed instrumental vaginal delivery may help avoid the unnecessary risks.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationObstetric and Intrapartum Emergencies
Subtitle of host publicationA Practical Guide to Management
PublisherCambridge University Press
Number of pages9
ISBN (Electronic)9780511842153
ISBN (Print)9780521268271
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2012


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