Neonatal subgaleal hemorrhage and its relationship to delivery by vacuum extraction

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55 Citations (Scopus)


Subgaleal hemorrhage is a rare condition of the neonate often associated with instrumental delivery. It is a potentially fatal condition that is often underreported and underdiagnosed. The vacuum extractor is being advocated as the instrument of first choice for assisted vaginal delivery, but appears to be associated with an increased incidence of subgaleal hemorrhage. It is widely believed that the vacuum cup will dislodge before causing serious fetal trauma. Because of the ease of application, vacuum extractors could be used potentially in circumstances in which forceps would not be attempted, allowing an operator of average experience to perform rotational deliveries. The worrisome increase in the incidence of subgaleal hemorrhage associated with vacuum extraction leads to the issuance of warnings from governmental authorities in Canada and the United States. This review discusses the anatomy of this lesion, etiology, clinical presentation, management, and possible prevention.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)687-693
Number of pages7
JournalObstetrical and Gynecological Survey
Issue number10
Publication statusPublished - 1 Oct 2003


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